Governmental officials have reportedly launched a massive investigation in Shanghai after more than 6,000 buns were found to have been expired, filled with unidentified chemicals or dyed other colors. Mayor Han Zheng said anyone found to have tampered with the popular snack food would be subject to prosecution and promised the government would release its findings.
A report that aired on China Central Television reported that Shanghai Shenglu Food Co. sold corn buns that had been dyed yellow and black rice buns were dyed gray. The report also alleged that old buns were being recycled as new ones and that chemicals were added to the products, but were not listed as ingredients.
Food safety remains an enormous problem in the world's largest country. Just last month the largest meat producer, Shuanghui Group, had to apologize after investigators found an illegal chemical, clenbuterol, in some of the company's pork products. The chemical speeds up muscle building and fat burning in livestock to produce leaner meat, but is dangerous for human consumption. In 2008, a tainted milk scandal killed six infants and sickened more than 300,000.
Steamed buns are made with yeast and a popular snack food throughout China. During preparation, they can be filled with meat or vegetarian options, and are often served with soy sauce.
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