Chinese police seize more than 20,000kg of fake beef

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More than 20,000kg of fake beef was seized by police in China from six workshops found to be producing it. (Photo from CNWest)

Police have confiscated more than 20,000kg of "beef" from a factory in northwest China's Shaanxi province.

The fake beef was found to be actually made from pork, which had been treated with chemicals such as paraffin wax and industrial salts to make it look like beef.

According to a report in Taiwan's Want China Times, the factory produced and sold between 1,500 to 2,000kg to local markets. It quoted police as saying the factory processed the pork at night and sold it as beef for between 25 and 33 yuan (between S$5.10 and S$6.70) per kilogram the next day.

Six other workshops were found to be producing the fake beef, and police have seized their meat as evidence.

News of this discovery is particularly notable given the fact that Xi'an, the capital of Shaanxi, has a large Muslim community, and some may have fallen victim to purchasing evidently non-Halal food.

This also isn't the first time tainted meat has been found to be sold in China. In May, Medical Daily reported that 904 people were arrested for "meat-related offences" in the first part of this year.

In the course of these arrests, more than 22 fake or inferior meat products were seized which had E. coli levels that "seriously exceeded standards", according to China's public security ministry.

The arrests included a ring of meat crooks who made more than 10 million yuan (S$2.04 million) from passing off rat, fox and mink meat as mutton, after treating it with gelatin, carmine and nitrate. The "mutton" was then sold in Jiangsu and Shanghai farmers' markets.

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