Previously, The World of Chinese reported on the safety of street food. Aside from germs, contamination, dust, and the possible use of “gutter oil” (digouyou, 地沟油), rumor has it that some street vendors use cat meat as a beef/pork replacement to lower cost. This rumor specifically applies to the chuanr, as these street BBQ on skewers are a top devilish indulgence for street food lovers.
In a previous post, intern Oriana Luquetta confirmed that “there is no statistical way to confirm nor deny what type of meat is being used every day by street vendors” so this rumor cannot be broken. However, That’s Beijing has found news that indicates that this rumor may have some solid credibility:
Via That’s Beijing:
A Heilongjiang portal interviewed sellers who admitted selling stray-cat meat for RMB5 a skewer, while Sina.com reports that campaigners in Shanghai had 13 samples professionally tested: three closely matched cat DNA. A grown cat costs around RMB15 and the sour taste is, indeed, masked by ‘marinading’ in urine. According to Jaing Jiakun of the Shanghai Society of Nutrition, many toxic parasites are found in stray-cat meat including trichina. This can cause pain, skin conditions and myocarditis. The parasites only die if heated above 70 degrees, which kebab stands are incapable of.
A street food fan could still defend their kebabs as the DNA only “closely matched ” cat meat, and that, after all only 3 out of 13 samples tested positive. That’s still almost 1/4 samples (23.1%) containing cat meat. The choice is still left up to you. Would you still be a customer of the street vendors? Or would you decide to avoid street food once and for all?