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Investigation heats up on scandal-hit bakery

[ 2011-04-14 10:42]     字号 [] [] []  
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A local bakery that allegedly recycled and resold stale bread and cakes is coming under the microscope.

Guangdong provincial capital's Haizhu district bureau of quality and technical supervision announced it has set up a special task force to investigate Guangzhou New Sweetism Food Co Ltd.

The task force will be led by a deputy bureau chief and kicked off its inspection on Tuesday by visiting some of the company's production facilities.

In addition to looking at the company's order book and its purchase ledgers, the task force questioned managers and workers and collected evidence.

Samples of the company's products have also been collected for further analysis.

During the next few days, the task force will focus on studying New Sweetism's documents and monitoring videotapes to find out what went on during the production process.

Meanwhile, the bureau has promised that it will roll out its inspection to all bakeries in the city and punish anyone found to have broken food safety laws and regulations.

The special investigation was launched after the New Express Daily published a story claiming five types of bread and cakes sold at Honey Cake outlets, which are run by New Sweetism, had been recycled from expired products.

Guangzhou Daily published a story on Wednesday after its reporters launched a secret investigation of the company's production facilities and its outlets this month.

A baker at a Honey Cake outlet said the company had been recycling stale bread and cakes for about three years.

"Every night, the company's 15 outlets send back about 10 cases of expired bread and cakes to the workshops in Haizhu district for recycling," the baker said in Guangzhou Daily.

"The expired bread and cakes are mixed with other materials, essences, spices and additives."

He said the company had never received a customer complaint and had not caused anyone to fall ill.

Chen Xicheng, a local doctor, said any harmful bacteria could be killed if the recycling process involves high temperatures.

"But people's health could certainly be affected and it may even lead to cancer if they eat too many spices, essences and additives," Chen said.

Honey Cake, a European-style bakery, is seen as a high-end operation in the city.

Most of the outlets are located in luxury plazas and office buildings and are frequented by white-collar workers. Honey Cake's bread costs an average of 10 yuan ($1.5) and the cheapest type, at 6 yuan, is about three times the cost of bread from regular bakeries.

Honey Cake's senior executive has not yet commented on the case. However, the company's executive department manager, surnamed Dong, allegedly asked media not to report the allegations but instead give the company a chance to improve.

"It is not a deadly case," Dong said in Guangzhou Daily.

The case is the first of its kind to be reported in the southern metropolis.


1. What food company is involved in the latest scandal?

2. What are the allegations?

3. What is being done?


1. Guangzhou New Sweetism Food Co Ltd.

2. A local bakery recycled and resold stale bread and cakes.

3. Guangdong provincial capital's Haizhu district bureau of quality and technical supervision has set up a special task force to investigate.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Investigation heats up on scandal-hit bakery

About the broadcaster:

Investigation heats up on scandal-hit bakery

Nelly Min is an editor at China Daily with more than 10 years of experience as a newspaper editor and photographer. She has worked at major newspapers in the U.S., including the Los Angeles Times and the Detroit Free Press. She is also fluent in Korean.