Bento boxes had excessive bacteria

Hu Min
Three batches of bento sold by FamilyMart were found to have excessive bacteria.
Hu Min

Three batches of bento sold by FamilyMart were found to have excessive bacteria, Shanghai's food watchdog said on Wednesday. 

These included two batches of box lunch sold at the Jinzhu Road outlet of FamilyMart in Changning District and a batch of bento sold at the Chengzhong Road W. outlet of the convenience store chain in Qingpu District, according to the Shanghai Administration for Market Regulation. 

One batch of bento of shredded pork with green pepper, and mapodoufu (tofu in chilli bean sauce with minced pork) failed for excessive Escherichia coli, while another batch of pork chop bento failed for excessive Bacillus cereus, according to the administration. 

Both were sold at the Jinzhu Road outlet and made by Shanghai Dingzhen Food Co Ltd part of Taiwan-based food giant Ting Hsin International Group. The food company is in Jiading District. 

Another batch of bento of oil gluten stuffed with pork, and celery, carrot and shredded meat failed for excessive Bacillus cereus. It was manufactured by Shanghai Dingfa Food Co Ltd in Songjiang District and sold at the Chengzhong Road W. outlet, according to the administration. 

Escherichia coli can lead to gastrointestinal infection and urinary tract infection under certain conditions, while Bacillus cereus may cause food poisoning with symptoms of abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea, doctors said. 

"I buy FamilyMart bento as lunch when I am busy," said Alice Zhang, an office worker in Nanjing Road W. area. "I think the convenience store should make food safety a priority."

David Zhang, a games company employee, added: "I always believed FamilyMart bento was safer than food ordered on online food delivery platforms, but I will think twice now before purchase."

In 2014, seven batches of bento sold by FamilyMart and manufactured by the same two food companies were found to have excessive bacteria by Shanghai's food authorities. 

These included pork chop, chicken and beef bento. 

The administration inspected 504 batches of food samples in total, and five were found substandard. 

A batch of tea seed oil sold by Shanghai Xikun Trade Co Ltd on Taobao and made by Qinglong Gaoke Oil Co Ltd in northern Jiangxi Province failed for excessive toxic arsenic, according to the administration. 

A batch of fermented broad-bean paste made by Hongmatou Food Co Ltd in Chengdu, capital city of southwest China's Sichuan Province, was substandard for dehydroacetic acid, a preservative, which should not be in food, according to the administration. 

The administration has ordered district food authorities to launch an investigation. The irregularities will be recorded in the city's food safety credibility files of food manufacturers and operators, the administration said. 

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