Pistachios imported from US infested with ants

Updated: 2007-06-13 08:30

BEIJING -- China has discovered a batch of pistachio nuts imported from the United States were rancid and infested with white ants, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine said on Tuesday.

The pistachio nuts were discovered by the entry-exit inspection and quarantine bureau of Guangdong Province on June 2, according to the administration.

The pistachios were found in a 40-foot container with a net weight of 19,958.4 kilograms and had been imported by a company in Zhongshan City of Guangdong.

The cargo, which originated from the US, arrived at Zhongshan port of Guangdong via Hong Kong, said the administration.

The administration says four packages of pistachios were rancid and gave a strong odor when local staff opened the container for inspection.

They also found ants in the container.

The local department in charge said it would destroy the goods.

The rancid pistachios would have harmed people's health if they had been eaten, and the ants could have damages on buildings, houses, trees, and cables buried underneath the ground, according to officials with the administration.

The administration said it had asked local inspection bureaus to thoroughly check the quality of pistachio nuts imported from US.

The administration also publicized some other unqualified US-imported food on the same day, which are three types of capsules and raisins from three US companies, namely K-Max Health Products Co., CMO Distribution Center of America, Inc. and Supervalu International Division.

It ordered its local agencies to tighten monitoring on food imported from the US and advised domestic importers to specify food safety requirements in contracts to lower trade risks.

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