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June 16, 2012

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Food, water firms fail quality tests

A number of big food and mineral water brands such as Qiaojiashan and Robust failed recent quality tests, city quality watchdogs said yesterday.

A batch of steamed buns produced by Qiaojiashan, a time-honored local brand known for its snacks and frozen foods, failed the test for exceeding the national standard of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and the residue of aluminium, the Shanghai Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision said.

DHA is used as a preservative, fungicide and bactericide in food, and the national standard is 0.3 gram per kilogram, while large amounts of aluminium will lead to poisoning.

Among the 129 batches of pastries checked, seven failed the tests. Others included cakes produced by the Shanghai Panpan Food Co Ltd and Shanghai Shanfoji Co Ltd for problems such as sorbic acid and carmine pigment.

It was not the first time that steamed buns were found with quality problems. In a scandal exposed by the state-run China Central Television last April, Hualian and Lianhua supermarkets in Shanghai were found selling dyed steamed buns made from expired buns. Additionally, fake corn-flour buns had been made with lemon-yellow food coloring.

Also yesterday, officials announced that a batch of mineral water produced by the Shanghai Branch of Guangdong-based Robust Co Ltd failed the test for containing pseudomonas aeruginosa, a bacterium that can cause fatal diseases. The symptoms of such infections are inflammation and sepsis.

In an earlier case, 2.37 tons of Evian mineral water imported by a firm in Beijing contained excessive nitrite. It marked the sixth time the high-end water brand failed quality tests.

The substandard products announced this time have not flowed into the market, officials with the bureau said.

Meanwhile, seven sauces out of 47 products checked were substandard. A spicy hot pot seasoning produced by the Shanghai Chuanhao Food Co Ltd and a satay soup seasoning produced by the Shanghai Taijinlan Food Co Ltd were found to contain excessive aflatoxins, which are very toxic and can cause poisoning, acute hepatitis and a variety of cancers.


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