China / Society

Health warning issued for mooncakes purchased online

By XU WEI ( Updated: 2015-09-13 19:32

As the sale of mooncakes from overseas thrives on Chinese e-commerce platforms ahead of Mid-Autumn Festival, officials have warned about the risks of disease and the violation of regulations.

Most mooncakes contain meat and eggs, which means they could transmit bird flu or foot-and-mouth disease, said Wang Xiao, an officer with the animal and plant quarantine department of the Beijing Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau.

"Also, the long mailing process and relatively short shelf life of mooncakes make it difficult to ensure product quality," he said.

Online purchases of mooncakes from overseas have been bolstered recently by the coming festival, a Chinese tradition often involving family reunions, which falls on Sep 27 this year.

A random search of overseas purchasing agents for exotic mooncakes can yield more than 10,000 results at, China's largest consumer-to-consumer e-commerce platform. Most of the mooncakes aimed at domestic consumers come from Vietnam, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Beijing Morning Post reported on Sunday that several consumers in Beijing experienced delivery problems with mooncakes purchased from overseas vendors, as they were intercepted by authorities at quarantine checkpoints.

Wang, the quarantine officer, said more than 30 countries currently have banned the mailing of mooncakes, especially those that include meat and egg ingredients.

"To ensure that your mooncakes sent through mail will be received on time, you need to check the whether the destination country will allow them or not, and make sure to list everything in the mailed package," he said.

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