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June 24, 2014

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Watchdog fishing for eel sellers

THE city’s food watchdog said yesterday it plans to get tough on eel vendors who use unlicensed or illegal chemicals to clean their produce.

The announcement was made following visits to four wet markets in Hongkou and Baoshan districts last week, where two stalls were found to be using the banned substance oxalate as a cleaning agent, the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration said.

The use of oxalate is prohibited under food safety law, and violators can face criminal charges, the agency said on its website.

Vendors use oxalate for cleaning eels because it is a cheap alternative to vinegar. But if consumed in large quantities it can cause medical problems such as kidney stones.


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