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Bid to stamp out dead crab trade
Latest Updated by 2006-10-20 09:39:21
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Local authorities are looking into the fishy business of dead crabs being sold to local restaurants and food stalls.

Restaurants and roadside snack booths only meant to buy fresh, live crabs, to ensure their dishes are of the highest quality, but local papers have claimed they are cutting corners by buying dead crabs from street peddlers who pick them up at Guangzhou's Huangsha Seafood Market, one of the biggest of its kind in the city.

It is estimated that around a ton of dead crabs are sold on to restaurants and other caterers in the city every day.

In response to the claims, Guangzhou's administration of industry and commerce and sanitation supervision bureau have launched a joint crackdown on the practice, with officers making unannounced inspections at the market.

"We didn't find any traders selling dead crabs during our surprise inspection yesterday," said an official surnamed Lin.

"But we did find some peddlers selling dead crabs nearby.

"We have urged the seafood market management team to keep a closer eye on the disposal of dead crabs and other aquatic products, to avoid them being sold at the market," he said, adding that the thousands of businessmen in Guangzhou for the ongoing 100th Canton Fair meant the city had even more reason to enforce the highest hygiene standards.

According to Chen Zhiyong, manager of the Huangsha Seafood Market, all the around 100 crab sellers have signed documents promising to turn in dead crabs for disposal, rather than selling them on to peddlers.

"Anyone who fails to turn in dead crab carcases will be fined or could even be ordered to withdraw from the market," he said.

The manager said that a lack of laws and regulations on the treatment of crabs which have died but not yet gone off left room for them to be traded.

Xu Yipeng, an official with the sanitation supervision bureau, said the bureau will be visiting catering facilities, including large seafood restaurants, small restaurants and roadside snack booths, in the coming few days, making sure there were no dead crabs or other dead aquatic products there.

"Those which are found using dead crabs or other dead aquatic products will be fined between 1,000 yuan (US$123.3) and 50,000 yuan (US$6,165)," said Xu.

Editor: Yan

By: Zhan Lisheng Source: China Daily Website
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