Food producers land in a pickle on CCTV consumer show
Several food producers were exposed on television on Tuesday, with some of them found substituting shoddy pickled cabbage bought from farmers for the original "Laotan pickled cabbage."
At the annual "315" consumer rights day TV show on CCTV, broadcast on Tuesday night, bad corporate behavior of multiple food production companies, including Hunan Xinchaqi Vegetable, Yayuan Pickled Food Factory, Hunan Tantanqiao and Hunan Jinrui Food, were brought to light.
They were exposed for using pickled cabbage, also known as Chinese sauerkraut, produced in pits which failed to meet health standards, instead of conducting normal production in special jars (or Laotan) as claimed.
Implicated in the scandal were several well-known instant noodle brands, including Master Kong, owned by Tingyi Holding Corp and Uni-President, which had partnerships with these "black-mark" producers.
Master Kong acknowledged that Xinchaqi was its supplier and immediately announced the termination of their partnership. The brand claimed it has never used products of the other sauerkraut suppliers involved in the scandal.
Hit hard by the scandal, shares of Tingyi Holding Corp listed on the Hong Kong market tumbled 2.31 percent on Wednesday.
Uni-President, meanwhile, said on Tuesday night that Xinchaqi Vegetable has not been among its suppliers for the past five years.
The company said it has spoken with the person in charge of Hunan Jinrui, and relevant sauerkraut products have all been sealed and will be put through quality tests with the presence of officials from the Administration of Market Regulation.
According to Xinchaqi's website, it was also a supplier for fast food giants KFC and McDonald's. While KFC denied any relationship and demanded Xinchaqi immediately take down the misinformation, McDonald's has yet to respond.