Cholera Infected Bullfrogs Could Cause Chinese Gourmets to Croak
Another day, another food scare in China. The latest alert comes courtesy of Mother Nature for a change, as opposed to human cost-cutters and profiteers. Bullfrogs, which are sold live in eastern China for use in a range of gourmet specialties, have been found to be infected with cholera. Officials from the Suzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention who were performing routine testing of the "tasty" critters discovered evidence of the dreaded Vibrio Cholerae bacteria in the livers of bullfrogs - not a good thing for the frogs or their human predators!
Bullfrog livers are not usually on the menu and Cholera bacteria are rendered harmless by cooking but the potential of a cholera outbreak among the human population prompted authorities to act with unaccustomed urgency.
Over 400 kilograms (880 lbs) of live bullfrogs were immediately seized from several wholesale suppliers operating in Shanghai's popular Tongchuan Road market.
This well-publicized heath scare happens to be very untimely for suppliers since it occured at the height of the “bullfrog season”. Approximately 30,000 to 40,000 kilograms of fresh frogs had been sold at the market daily - now that's a lotta frogs! Since most of the bullfrogs are sourced from breeding cooperative farms found in southeastern China's Fujian province, the owners and operators of the farms are displeased to say the least.
As yet there have not been any reported cholera alerts for frogs in other Chinese cities; even so, the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention has pledged to continue testing bullfrogs and has announced a series of steps which hopefully will keep sick bullfrogs off the menus of local restaurants. (via Shanghaiist)