In a food safety crackdown, Chinese authorities just discovered a disturbing shipment being smuggled through Hunan province – 100,000 tons of meat from the 1970s! The meat, including beef, chicken feet and duck necks, was said to be frozen and refrozen over the past 40 years, and put back on the market with the intention of selling to consumers. Chinese authorities are investigating 21 gangs potentially involved in the smuggling and sale of the $438 million shipment of disco-era meat.
As if the thought of eating meat from 40 years ago was not troublesome enough, anti-smuggling officials have reported that some of the meat had been frozen, thawed and refrozen over the years, often transported in unrefrigerated vehicles to save money. Why the meat has been circulating for so long remains a mystery, but officials believe much of it originated in countries as far away as Brazil and India.

Related: Over 20,000 Kilograms of Fake Beef Seized in Xi’an, China

Thus far, twenty people have been arrested from the Hunan province on suspicion for being linked to the extraordinary smuggling. How the aged meat could have affected consumers and how widespread its reach would have been remains unseen, but the shipment comes on the heels of another food issue: just days ago, China asked for a recall of infant formula powder containing dangerous levels of nitrates from milk producers in Shaanxi.


Lead image via Shutterstock, images Paul Joseph and U.S. Department of Agriculture