A vendor in Zhejiang, China is under investigation for pumping his shrimp full of what appears to be gelatin before bringing them to market.
According to Shanghaiist, a woman who goes by Zheng bought some shrimp at a market in Wenzhou. When she got home, she started to prepare the crustaceans for cooking. When she cut into the shrimp, a clear gelatin-like substance squished out from both the head and body.
Zheng didn’t eat the shrimp or the surprise dessert inside. Instead, she took photos to document her discovery and posted them on the Internet. Local and international media and authorities latched onto the story, and police are now investigating the seller. Check out more disturbing photos of the shrimp over on Yahoo Hong Kong.
While some online commentators think it’s gelatin, others suspect that it’s some kind of less appetizing (and safe) adhesive plastic glass.
Shanghaiist notes that some seafood vendors inject gelatin inside frozen shrimp to make them appear plumper and heavier when they’re defrosted. Normally, frozen shrimp have a tendency toward a deflated appearance when they’re brought to room temperature.
At least one Chinese food seller is making jokes and taking advantage of the situation:
Who knows, maybe the seller thought gelatin-pumped shrimp might have the same appeal as fancy collagen drinks, which aging ladies sip on to retain that youthful glow.
As food scandals go, this is small potatoes compared to other scandals that have recently rocked China. Remember those 22 tons of fake beef that were seized a couple years back? And then there was an American-owned meat supplier selling expired meat to fast-food chains in 2014.
Let’s also not forget that earlier this year, 100,000 tons of rotting, smuggled meat that dated back to the 1970s was seized by Chinese authorities. Much of that meat was later found to be from old U.S. food reserves, from a surplus program our country discontinued in the ’90s.