Chemicals Used to Alter Food Expiration Dates in China31 August, 2011 at 08:10 | Posted in Body & Mind, China, Environmental issues, Food | Leave a comment
Tags: Body & Mind, China, environmental issues, Food
It’s no surprise that Chinese perpetually worry about food safety, especially given the drumbeat of news like this: In Beijing and Hunan it was found that the expiration dates on food packaging, including on name-brand foods, are being changed with the help of printing devices and toxic chemicals.
The process of changing the expiration date burned the hands of a female worker in a medium-size food enterprise, reported Netease.
The person in charge at Douqu Food factory in Hunan recently admitted that at the end of May, after factory officials learned that a chemical solution could remove the production date imprinted on packaging, they started changing the dates. They purchased two printers and had two female workers use the corrosive chemical to erase the production dates on expired foods and then apply a new expiration date.
However, the two young women didn’t wear gloves, and within a few days, their skin blistered from the chemical burns. A subsequent dispute with the factory over medical fees exposed the issue to public light.
An investigation into the relabeling practices at the Douqu Food factory revealed the willful change of shelf-life labeling on a range of food packages.
According to an insider, the chemical mix is mainly banana oil (isoamyl acetate) and paint thinner, which can easily remove the expiration date imprinted on plastic bags, tin cans, and cartons. The compound, which is flammable and very toxic, can damage human skin, the lining of the throat, bronchi, lungs, and even the nervous system. It is not meant to be used on food labels.