Fast food chain McDonald’s denied on Monday [4 December 2017] night that its fried dough sticks contained chemical substances that could cause cardiovascular disease, after food in two of its Shanghai branches were said to contain diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP). McDonald’s issued a statement saying that it was taking the incident seriously, and that further checks confirmed that no DEHP was added to the fried dough sticks or their packaging during the production process. It added that it would take further steps to determine the truth, the Nanfang Daily reported…Full Article: The Global Times Dec 2017

Key Point

  • The Shanghai Consumer Council and the Shanghai Municipal Food and Drug Administration reported that a Kongjiang branch [Yangpu District, northeastern Shanghai] of McDonald’s sold fried dough sticks (aka youtiao) containing 1.35 milligrams of DEHP per kilogram, which is just below permissible limit of 1.5 mg/kg. McDonald’s was surprised their youtiao contained DEHP. Shanghai food inspectors also carried out checks related to the level of polar compounds in cooking oil (China has maximum standard of 27%) and aluminum concentration (maximum standard of 100 mg/kg).

ChinaAg Comments

  • In February 2014, a representative from the Australian Olive Association stated that Chinese safety inspectors were focused on checking for DEHP plasticizer in olive oil products. DEHP or Di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate is soluble in oil (not water) and is used for making PVC (Polyvinyl chloride, a type of plastic) soft and pliable.
  • In April 2013, China was concerned that plastic wrap used by domestic supermarkets to wrap meat and vegetables contained plasticizers. According to the Vice President of the International Food Packaging Association. Bis(2-ethylhexyl) adipate or DEHA penetrates fatty foods more easily than food with a low fat content.
  • In November 2012, China’s Baijiu (sorghum liquor) industry suffered financially after excessive levels of plasticizers was found in a sample manufactured by Jiugui Liquor Company. Specifically, Hunan Province’s General Bureau of Quality Inspection found 1.04 mg/kg of plasticizer in baijiu.

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