Is Your Moo Shu Safe?

In an act of small bravery, I got Chinese take-out from Hunan Gourmet last night.

Hunan Gourmet has long been one of the most popular Chinese restaurants in my area of Western Massachusetts. But last month, it suffered scandalous press after a take-out order of vegetarian moo shu had in it what appeared to be a rodent limb. Business has since dropped 70%.

But our local Daily Hampshire Gazette reported on Friday (sub. req’d) that the restaurant owners are likely not to blame.

What apparently is? Imported food from China.

That animal part had to have come from a supplier outside,’ said Northampton Health Agent Ernest J. Mathieu, shortly before touring the restaurant’s kitchen with a Gazette reporter on Tuesday. The kitchen appeared clean and well organized.

Industry experts say there is a strong possibility that a small animal limb could wind up in a canned product shipped from China.

[Professor Haemoon] Oh, of Iowa State, said he’s seen several legal cases revolving around foreign objects, including small animal parts, found in canned food supplies.

Barring any foul play, ‘I think canned goods is the strongest possibility,’ Oh said. ‘If it happened in processing, it is hard to blame them.’

As the restaurant’s practices are not in question, and the story said it changed suppliers, I saw no reason not to give them back my business.

But knowing how pathetic food and product safety has been in the current conservative White House, I am left wondering: how much unsafe imported food is being served in restaurants of all cuisines across America?


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