Warning: You could be using one of these fake branded food!
When it comes to the food industry, China doesn’t really have a good reputation around the world. From collecting oil from gutters, to selling ‘rat meat’ disguised as beef—we can never really trust their food quality. Despite shocking food scandals, China never fails to surprise us with new scandals. According to a recent report, there are a ring of 50 factories involved in producing and selling fake sauces to unaware customers.
Many of the factories, which hire dozens of workers, have surveillance cameras installed outside their buildings and are alerted when strangers enter the premises. This has made it difficult for local police to track them down.
The investigative report revealed that the products were being falsely labelled as popular brands such as Nestlé, Knorr and Lee Kum Kee. The factories have been allegedly making the fake products for over a decade now.
According to reports, about 100 million yuan ($14.5 million) worth of fake products are produced each year in Duliu, the Tianjin town in which the con was uncovered.
Tap water and industrial-grade salt—which is banned from human consumption in China because it can cause damage to the liver and kidneys due to the presence of cancer-causing agents and heavy metals—are some of the fake products’ ingredients.
Factories also bought spices and herbs that had already been used, such as star anise and pepper from nearby factories, then dried them and ground them into powder. The operations are carried out in squalid conditions, with many factories operating inside dilapidated buildings.
Be alert with the products you buy. Make sure they are bought from legitimate suppliers.