Police were called to a remote, forested area located near Fuma Industrial park in Chigang, Dongguan, reported the Dongguan Times. There, police found an unlicensed abattoir that was slaughtering water buffalo cattle in less than hygienic conditions: Two dead cattle lying on the floor were surrounded by buzzing flies; cut meat was left uncovered in plastic boxes piled on the floor; and discarded water buffalo hides and offal were scattered everywhere.
Worst of all, the workers at the factory were in the process of injecting the slaughtered cattle with water at the time police arrived. In a process that can increase the mass of the beef by 15-20%, workers attach hoses to an artery in the neck of the slaughtered cow; then, they pump the cow with water, industrial pigments, and preservatives so that the beef will become heavier, look better, and have a longer shelf life. This process includes completely immersing the beef in water, and can sometimes be repeated up to 5 times.
The suspects escaped when police shouted their presence to the workers inside the compound. In all, approximately 1500 kg of beef was confiscated by officials and destroyed. The meat was to be sold in markets in the vicinity including those in Humen, Chang’an, and Shenzhen.
How can you tell the beef at your local market has been tampered with? Here are 6 telltale signs:
1. Beef injected with water will continually seep out water. Sellers of this meat will use rags to mop up the excess moisture.
2. Beef injected with water will display an especially red color. It will eventually come to lose its color; this fake beef looks shiny and has a glossy exterior. On the other hand, beef that has not been injected with water is a dark red and is prone to wrinkling.
3. Beef injected with water is not elastic to the touch. It isn’t flexible, and will release water when squeezed. On the other hand, beef not injected with water is flexible and sticky to the touch.
4. Blood veins are very distinct in beef injected with water, while they are not in real beef. The former has a limp color with a glossy sheen.
5. You can perform a test using toilet paper. Beef injected with water will soak through toilet paper in 5 seconds, while proper regulation beef will only show a little spotting.
6. When thawing out frozen beef injected with water, water collected in the plate will show a dark red color.
We can only hope that “beef injections” remain a wholesome practice that is served only for righteous purposes.
Photo: Time DG