China: Meat Scares and the Bubonic Plague

China Meat Scare

Looks like smog isn’t the only health-hazard the Chinese have to watch out for…

A Shanghai meat supplier is being investigated for selling expired beef and chicken to fast-food joints – and to make matters even worse, the bubonic plague is back.

Chinese branches of McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, Burger King, and even Starbucks (noooo!) have stopped using meat from a supplier in Shanghai following allegations it sold them out of date meat. A Chinese broadcaster has accused meat supplier Husi Food Co. of repackaging expired beef and chicken with new dates.

The Shanghai Municipal Food and Drug Administration said it had “decided to investigate claims of the alleged use of expired raw food material production and the processing of it in food”.

China’s investigation of Husi Food Co. prompted the FDA to seal off the company’s factories for further inspection.

But expired re-processed meat is the least of concerns for the 30,000 residents of Yumen, China who are not allowed to leave the city after a man died of the bubonic plague last week. A 38-year-old contracted the diseased after coming in contact with a dead marmot and feeding it to his dog. He developed a fever and died shortly after and now a huge chunk of the city has been sealed off from the rest of the country. Plus, 151 people have been quarantined after coming into direct contact with the man who contracted the disease.

The plague, which killed tens of millions of people throughout Europe during the 14th century, affects about 1,000 to 3,000 people every year, but bubonic plague outbreaks are rare in China. Unless of course you find a dead marmot and decide to chop it up and feed it to your dog…

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