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City probes water-injected meat scandal

FOOD safety authorities have launched an investigation into water-injected beef being sold in city wet markets.
Some retailers have already been punished over the practice.
Water is injected to make the beef heavier and more profitable. A kilogram of beef can be injected with up to about a quarter of kilogram of water, the Shanghai Law Journal reported.
The report quoted insiders as saying that most of the water-injected beef came from a slaughterhouse in Jiashan City of Shanghai's neighboring Zhejiang Province.
It was then sold to the Cao'an wholesale market, which supplies half the beef for Shanghai's retail markets.
The beef sells at 30 yuan (US$4.41) per kilogram at the wholesale market and the price is marked up to 46 yuan per kilogram at retail markets.
A retailer surnamed Li told the Shanghai Law Journal that water-injected beef came onto the market in Shanghai in July last year. The water content has increased with some meat containing up to 80 percent water.
Li has been retailing beef for 10 years.
An undercover investigation by the Shanghai Law Journal found workers pumping water into cattle at the slaughterhouse in Jiashan.
Workers told the newspaper that each 300-kilogram beast can be injected with between 40 and 75 kilograms of water.
About 85 percent of the beef from here is supplied to Shanghai.


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