I used to have a big chest freezer. It was a place where meat and frozen meals went to disappear.
My grandmother had this huge one in the basement, where she kept freezer-burned ice cream and her cash (she didn’t trust banks, or so I was told).
I’ve downsized to the little one on top of the fridge and am much more vigilant about stuff in, stuff out.
Chinese customs have seized around 3 billion yuan ($625 million) worth of smuggled meat, some more than 40 years old and rotting, the official China Daily said on Wednesday, the latest in a grim series of food safety scares.
Beijing toughened food safety rules in April to shake off a reputation for safety scandals that range from donkey meat tainted with fox DNA to milk contaminated with industrial chemical melamine that killed at least six infants in 2008.
Chinese authorities have launched a crackdown on beef and frozen meat smuggling, in addition to a campaign last year to stamp out the smuggling of farm products.
Authorities had busted 21 criminal gangs by June, leading to seizures of more than 100,000 tonnes of smuggled meat, including chicken wings, beef and pork, state news agency Xinhua said. In one bust, police in southern Hunan province arrested 20 people.
Customs officials found some of the meat was more than 40 years old, meaning it dated back to the 1970s. Other parts were rotten and decomposing, the China Daily newspaper said. It was not clear if the seized meat had been destroyed.
Industry sources say hundreds of thousands of tonnes of beef is being smuggled into China via neighbouring Hong Kong and Vietnam, from countries such as Brazil and India, to sidestep Beijing’s import curbs.
Meat can last for a long time if continuously frozen, but smuggled meat is often moved under poor storage conditions that lead to repeated thawing, making it eventually go bad.