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August 6, 2011

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Fake condiment plant found in Pudong

AN unlicensed workshop in the city's suburbs was discovered yesterday morning to be manufacturing fake condiments and adding industrial materials into the food seasonings.

The crackdown, conducted by local authorities, came after a UBC Coffee store, a well-known chain in China, was found to be serving fake pepper on Thursday.

The workshop, sitting in Sanlin Town in the Pudong New Area, was reportedly producing the fake seasonings every night.

In a dark and dirty room, officers with the local industry and commerce watchdog found a public health nightmare. Bags of pepper and curry powders were randomly piled up on a balcony and were exposed directly to the air. Moldy yellow brown rice and talc were discovered in the small workshop.

Officers said the yellow brown rice and talc powder were being added to the pepper to lower its production costs, and a similar method was done to produce curry powder.

Production cost of the authentic pepper is more than 60 yuan (US$9.31) per kilogram, but the yellow rice and talc powder can be made for less than 2 yuan a kilogram.

The fake pepper confiscated from the workshop was similar to that found in a Pudong store of UBC Coffee on Thursday. Store personnel said they purchased the pepper from a local wholesale market, but did not admit purposely buying the fake products to save money.

Zhang Yusong, an official with the Shanghai Administration for Industry and Commerce, told Shanghai Daily that businesses will be fined if found using the fake condiments.


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