Row over ‘prefabricated’ mutton shines light on China’s frozen meats labelling dilemma


By Mark Godfrey, GlobalMeatNews



A consumer affairs row has blown up in Beijing over mutton labelling, which could lead to new labelling requirements for manufactured meat.


State-run local media has been highlighting the case of a shopper named Mrs Pan who bought a pack of lamb that turned out to be “prefabricated​” or modulated meat rather than regular meat


State media – which frequently highlights issues of interest to government – has featured Mrs Pan’s confusion over what she thought was regular lamb, but which she discovered was “prefabricated lamb​”, manufactured by the Beijing Cao Yuan Xin Mao Co, a processor of lamb and beef.


When she washed the meat it broke into small pieces, noted Mrs Pan. A label on the packaging stated it was “tiaoli​” – a Mandarin term which can mean blended or harmonised as well as prefabricated. The product contained mutton, salt, water and food flavourings, according to the label.


Interviewed by China Quality News – a newspaper published by the government’s powerful quality watchdog the General Administration of Quality Supervision Inspection & Quarantine (AQSIQ) – Mrs Pan bought five 500g packs of frozen hot pot meat at RMB19.98 per 500g in an outlet of the Wumei supermarket chain in Beijing. She thought the product was on special offer, given that a similar competing product was selling for RMB40 per 500g.


Lack of standards​ ...