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40-year old meat confiscated in China: Weird business news

Nicole Goodkind
·Nicole Goodkind

This week in weird business news…

Who doesn’t love a well-aged Porterhouse steak or an 18-month aged slice of prosciutto? Perhaps that’s what Chinese smugglers who were caught selling 40-year old frozen meat were thinking. Chinese officials found and confiscated 800 tons of contraband meat this week, and some of it dated back to the 1970s. The frozen meat that had been around since the end of the Vietnam War was headed towards restaurants, supermarkets and retailers.

According to Chinese state-run media, the meat was worth around $1.6 million. Food smuggling has long been a problem in China. This month alone, Chinese customs officials have confiscated $500 million in illegal frozen meat.

A customs officer told Xinhua, a state-run Chinese newspaper, that they found the meat because, “It was too smelly - a truck full of it. I almost threw up when the door opened.” 20 suspected members of a gang were arrested for trying to ship the meat from Hong Kong to Vietnam. This is a popular route for smuggling and markets in China that border Vietnam have up to one-third of their meat illegally smuggled into the country.

Smuggled meat is often transported in unrefrigerated trucks and then refrozen. It is thawed and then refrozen multiple times during its journey, increasing the potential health risks to those who end up eating it.

When asked, Chinese officials would not tell The Chinese Daily Newspaper where the meat came from and where it had been stored since 1975.

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