FILTHY pond water was injected into sheep carcasses by a gang busted recently in southern Guangdong Province.
Officers in provincial capital Guangzhou raided an illegal warehouse in a village in Baiyun district where workers were injecting bacteria-filled water into slaughtered sheep, reported China Central Television yesterday.
This increased the weight of the meat to sell for more money.
The man in charge and six workers were held by police in the raid late on December 30.
Some 30 carcasses injected with water were discovered, along with 335 living sheep, two forged inspection stamps, pumps and rubber tubing.
The suspects admitted that 50 and 100 sheep were slaughtered there daily, reported CCTV.
Pond water was injected into the carcasses before the blood clotted, and the meat then sold to meat markets, food stalls, canteens and restaurants in Guangzhou city, Foshan city and elsewhere in the province.
The water came from ponds and was said to contain massive quantities of harmful bacteria.
Up to 6 kilograms of water was injected into each sheep.
Water-injected meat poses great danger to health and the water used in most cases is polluted. Long-term consumption can lead to a host of diseases, including cancer.
Consumers are advised to be on the lookout for water-injected cuts when buying meat.
Signs include an abnormal amount of fluid, while if the surface of the meat is pressed, it usually takes water-injected cut longer to return to its original shape.