Recently, an eastern Chinese gang sold almost 100 tons of tainted tofu in the local markets. The gang was run by three cousins and they are accused of tainting the tofu by adding an industrial bleaching agent, Rongalite, to make dried tofu sticks brighter and chewier, The cousins had bags of rongalite powder stacked against the walls of the factory. The chemical was then added into the mix to make the dried tofu sticks, also called "fuzhu", a popular snack in China. Rongalite is banned in China because it can lead to cancer.
"The factory floor was filthy and there was a choking odor in the premises. Workers were busy making fuzhu with utensils that were covered in dirt,"according to police reports. Police detained four men involved in the operation and seized nearly 10 metric tons of toxic tofu, but said a further 100 tons had already been sold by the gang within Shandong and nearby Henan and Jiangxi provinces. Luckily, no one has yet been reported ill from eating the affected products
Food scares aren't uncommon in China and this has led to investigations into some familiar named companies operating in China. A supplier to KFC parent Yum Brands Inc and McDonald's Corp came under fire in July after a report showed workers using expired meat. Wal-Mart Stores Inc recalled some donkey meat products in January after tests showed they contained traces of fox.
Can you imagine the reaction if this had happened in the US? Wal-Mart selling donkey meat products? Brendan Spaar doesn't buy meat at Wal-Mart but never thought they sold those types of products. There have been bans on certain foods coming in from China, both human and pet foods. It appears the more strict laws here in the US are needed to protect the consumer from health hazards like this.
So the next time you are thinking of getting tofu, do investigate where it comes from and how safe it might be.