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April 8, 2011

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Mystery of the 'glowing' pork

BLUE pork, now that sounds tasty.

A Shanghai resident found the pork she bought was giving off a "blue fluorescence" at night.

Food safety experts said the blue light may have been caused by a photobacterium that contaminated the pork. They added that the pork would not harm people's health if it was well cooked.

The resident surnamed Chen, who lives in Gaohang Town in the Pudong New Area, bought a kilogram of pork from a market on Yanggao Road N. on Tuesday.

She used some of the pork to make dumplings that night and put the remainder on a table in the kitchen.

When she went to the bathroom at 11pm, she saw a "vague blue light" in the kitchen. She turned on the light but didn't see anything unusual. When she turned off the light, the blue light re-appeared. She tried to touch the light and found it was emanating from the pork.

Chen, thinking the light was reflecting off the meat, moved the pork to a darker place but found it was still "glowing."

She washed the pork with water, but it still gave off the blue light.

The pork looked normal the next morning after giving off light all night.

The family didn't eat the meat in fear something was wrong and it would make them sick, Chen said.

"We want to know what was wrong with the pork," Chen told the Shanghai Morning Post.

Gu Zhenhua, an officer with the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration, said the pork may have been contaminated by a photobacterium during slaughter, transport or selling. Such a luminescence is also found in fish sometimes because the bacteria originally comes from the sea, Gu said.

Market watchdog officials in the city said they had received few complaints about "glowing" pork.


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