Wal-Mart recalls donkey meat in China that contained fox

The international retailer is at the center of a new food scandal

Topics: Wal-Mart, China, meat, ,

In China’s latest meat scandal, Wal-Mart has issued a recall for some of its outlets after packages of donkey meat were found to contain fox flesh. Reuters reports:

Wal-Mart will reimburse customers who bought the tainted “Five Spice” donkey meat and is helping local food and industry agencies in eastern Shandong province investigate its Chinese supplier, it said late on Wednesday in official posts on China’s Twitter-like Weibo. The Shandong Food and Drug Administration earlier said the product contained fox meat.

The scandal could dent Wal-Mart’s reputation for quality in China’s $1 trillion food and grocery market where it plans to open 110 new stores in the next few years… The U.S. retailer has had a troubled past in China. In 2011, China fined Wal-Mart, along with Carrefour, a combined 9.5 million yuan ($1.57 million) for manipulating product prices. Wal-Mart was also fined that year in China for selling duck meat past its expiry date.

The contamination was first discovered by a customer who, noticing that the donkey meat “tasted strange,” sent it in for DNA testing. While donkey is considered a delicacy in Shadong, fox, which is cheaper, is maligned for its fishy flavor.

Lindsay Abrams

Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email labrams@salon.com.

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