CHINA - Food scandals are nothing new in China.
But this week, it was particularly bad. On Wednesday, an eastern Jiangsu province court sentenced 16 men to prison for processing and selling 5,000 tonnes of recycled cooking oil made from a mixture of discarded animal parts.
The same day, 43 people were convicted in three other cases in the province, mostly for selling meat products made of animal waste.
Three days earlier, more than 30 Air China passengers fell ill after eating expired beef pastries.
According to state media, a woman discovered two dates printed on her meal's wrapper, the most recent one four days in the past.
Although she alerted flight staff, they refused to make an announcement as other passengers were already eating. Half an hour later, passengers began queuing at the toilets. Most were queasy; many had diarrhoea; some vomited.
Air China refused to acknowledge the issue until passenger accounts went viral online, then attributed the incident to a packaging mix-up.
On Friday, an inquiry found that almost all of the beef jerky (dried lean meat) in south-eastern Fujian province is actually chemically-treated pork, The Guardian reported.
Ironically, Chinese president Xi Jinping last weekend confronted New Zealand prime minister John Key about the latter's food safety record, after a botulism scare led a firm to recall its milk powder from China.
Netizen Yi Muyi wrote: "First, take care of our own food safety problems. Then talk."
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