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November 18, 2011

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Pneumonia dumplings removed

A POPULAR brand's frozen dumplings found to harbor bugs linked to pneumonia have been taken off the shelves at city outlets, Shanghai watchdogs said yesterday.

Authorities in Nanjing City had reported dumplings made by Wanchai Ferry contained golden staph - bacteria that can cause pneumonia and blood poisoning.

This is the latest in a series of dumpling bacteria scares.

Last week, three types of Sanquan frozen dumplings and one made by Hai Pa Wang on sale in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou were found to contain the same bacteria.

And last month, Beijing's business administrators said they discovered a batch of Synear dumplings containing golden staph during a July inspection.

These brands have all been removed from local supermarket shelves.

In the latest scare, an official surnamed Zhang with the Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau said that city authorities had already found problems with Wanchai Ferry dumplings before Nanjing watchdogs raised the alarm this week.

Zhang said Wanchai Ferry's problem product, containing minced pork and shepherd's purse, has been banned from local supermarkets and that the bureau will carry out more frequent checks to ensure dumpling safety.

Some supermarkets told Shanghai Daily that they stopped selling the product weeks ago.

"Two weeks ago we were told to pull a specific type of dumpling off the shelves as it was found to have unknown problems," said Marthe Lu, a store manager with Carrefour.

Other types of Wanchai Ferry dumpling are still on sale at local markets, with staff claiming they have not received orders to remove these products from their shelves.

In response to the dumpling bug scare, national officials have said golden staph bacteria can be killed if dumplings are heated to 80 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes, according to the Guangzhou Daily.

But some locals have complained that this is "quite unfeasible."

Ni Liming, a 50-year-old resident, asked: "How can you cook dumplings at 80 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes?"

"Common sense tells you that if you cook them for more than 15 minutes they become too soft and are ruined."

By last night, Wanchai Ferry had not issued an official response.


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