The Chinese authorities have seized frozen meat being sold by smugglers, with some that dated all the way back to the 1970s. Some of the frozen meat packages were 40 years old, thawing and rotten. Until they were confiscated by officials, this meat were bound for dinner tables as it was to be sold at supermarkets, retailers and restaurants.
Raw meat is not like wine, it doesn’t get better with age and just the thought of this meat sitting on a dinner plate in front of you is enough to start your stomach churning, suggests CNN News on June 24. This was no small find, the smugglers were planning on raking in $1.6 million from this stash of frozen meat. The packages of meat were packed and stamped at the height of China’s Cultural Revolution.
One of the officials that was part of this latest smuggler take-down described the operation by what he saw and what he smelled. Zhang Tao, who helped with the operation in Hunan said, “It was smelly. There was a whole truck of it. I nearly threw up when I opened the door,” according to MSN News.
The shipment was chock full of chicken wings, pork and beef and eventually headed for dinner tables. This bust not only netted illegal meat, but it could have saved many from falling ill after unknowingly eating this tainted meat that was headed for market.
Since the meat had already started to thaw and rot, the stench was unbearable. This was the first sign that something was wrong when the truck doors were opened. The second hint came when officials got a look at the packaging dates, which indicated some packages have been around for 40 years.
Foreign meat is in high demand in China as folks there are concerned about food safety, steering them away from locally raised animal meat. They prefer imported meat from the U.S., Australia, Europe and New Zealand.
Couple this demand with restrictions on meat imports, you have the perfect recipe for smugglers. Chinese officials caught smugglers with $33 million worth of meat from the U.S. back in March and in November of last year, 300 tons of Brazilian beef was confiscated coming into China.
Some of the beef came from India, passing through Guangxi, which borders Vietnam. This smuggling crackdown from the Chinese authorities entails detaining 21 smuggling groups coming from 14 provinces.
So far the confiscated bad meat comes out to about 100,000 tons, which would have netted the several different groups more than $500 million in frozen meat, this includes the $1.6 million in this latest smuggling operation that the authorities recently brought down.