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October 21, 2011

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Pneumonia bug dumplings removed from shelves

FROZEN dumplings feared to contain bacteria linked to pneumonia have been taken off the shelves at city outlets.

This comes after Beijing Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau discovered a batch of Synear dumplings containing golden staph - a bacteria that can lead to conditions such as pneumonia and blood poisoning.

Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau said it will inspect markets to ensure the ban on the Henan Province-made dumplings is applied.

Officials said they will also conduct tests on frozen dumplings on sale locally.

Shanghai officials said the Beijing inspection was carried out in July, and at that time suspect products were "secretly" removed from local shelves.

Consequently, there are unlikely to be many packets of the dumplings on the market.

That the findings were not disclosed until this week is "normal procedure" in the industry, they claimed.

Several supermarket chains, including Carrefour and Wal-Mart, said they have already removed Synear dumplings.

Consumers who have bought the products with the serial number 20010628106A can ask for refunds.

Meanwhile, officials at Hualian and Lianhua supermarkets said the Synear dumplings they sell are produced in Zhejiang Province, rather than Henan, and are not under suspicion.

But the Lotus chain said although its Synear dumplings were not produced in Henan, it will still stop selling them until told they are safe.

Henan-based Synear said it has been fined 50,000 yuan (US$7,830) by Beijing authorities. Synear said it would compensate consumers who encountered health problems after eating its dumplings.

Officials said every batch of dumplings goes through the company's quality test before leaving the factory.

The batch contaminated with golden staph had passed this test, and may have been tainted during transport, said Synear officials.


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