Food Contamination Scandal in China

Preserved eggs found to be treated with toxic additive

Preserved Eggs, a Chinese Delicacy

The International Business Times reports that yet another unsafe food product has allegedly been discovered in China. Recent batches of preserved eggs, a traditional delicacy known to many as thousand-year-old eggs, have supposedly tested positive for copper sulfate.

Following these allegations, the Chinese government has ordered inspections of preserved egg plants across the nation, as reported by the country’s official news source, Xinhua News Agency. 

The age-old preservation process, in which the eggs sit in a bath of quicklime, clay, rice hulls, ash, and salt for weeks or months at a time, is now being augmented with copper sulfate, a toxic additive. In an industrial capacity, copper sulfate contains a mixture of lead, arsenic, and cadmium. Any mixture of these chemicals can cause serious kidney damage. 

Though shocking, this report should come as little surprise. Claims of contaminated Chinese goods have become disturbingly common. Many remember the 2008 baby formula contaminated with melamine that caused kidney damage in thousands of children. Cadmium-contaminated rice from China’s Hunan province also caused a stir among consumers in early 2013. 


Chinese citizens are becoming wary of their own national product, and many purchase necessities such as rice and baby formula in Hong Kong, if they have the means.