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Government: Korean Kimchi Also Tainted

Posted November. 04, 2005 07:13,   


After discovery of parasite eggs in Chinese Kimchi, parasite eggs have been found in Korean Kimchi and cabbages as well.

The Korean Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) stated on November 3, after inspecting samples from 502 Kimchi manufacturers, that 3.2%, or 16 of the samples were found to contain parasite eggs.

It also collected 165 samples of Korean cabbage from agricultural product holding areas and found parasite eggs in eight samples.

The KFDA stated that “the eggs found were immature, so even when ingested, there is virtually no risk of infection.”

Of the eggs that were found, four were maw worms, nine were dog and cat parasites, and three were other types of parasites.

After inspecting 54 samples of the ingredients used in the tainted Kimchi, there was one pickled Korean cabbage that carried parasite eggs.

The KFDA inferred that “the farmers either did not use fully composted pig feces when growing cabbage, or the cabbage could have gotten dog or cat excreta on it. The 16 manufacturers that carried contaminated Kimchi are mainly small companies, accounting for 4.9% of total Korean kimchi production. Parasite eggs were not found in the 10 types of kimchi which the Chinese claimed were contaminated on October 31.

The list of the companies that made the tainted Kimchi is posted on the KDFA website, www.kfda.go.kr.

The KDFA confiscated the inventory of kimchi from those companies. The KDFA will ensure that products from those companies are tested for parasite eggs.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry decided to conduct tests for parasites in cabbages and white radishes, and add parasite eggs to the items for quality assessment tests of kimchi manufacturers and only support safe products with export logistics fee.

Hee-Kyung Kim Yoo-Seong Hwang susanna@donga.com yshwang@donga.com