Investigation heats up on scandal-hit bakery

GUANGZHOU - A local bakery that allegedly recycled and resold stale bread and cakes is coming under the microscope.

Guangdong provincial capital's Haizhu district bureau of quality and technical supervision announced it has set up a special task force to investigate Guangzhou New Sweetism Food Co Ltd.

The task force will be led by a deputy bureau chief and kicked off its inspection on Tuesday by visiting some of the company's production facilities.

In addition to looking at the company's order book and its purchase ledgers, the task force questioned managers and workers and collected evidence.

Samples of the company's products have also been collected for further analysis.

During the next few days, the task force will focus on studying the New Sweetism's documents and monitoring video tapes to find out what went on during the production process.

Meanwhile, the bureau has promised that it will roll out its inspection to all bakeries in the city and punish anyone found to have broken food safety laws and regulations.

The special investigation was launched after the New Express Daily published a story claiming five types of bread and cakes sold in Honey Cake outlets, which are run by New Sweetism, had been recycled from expired products.

Guangzhou Daily published an undercover story on Wednesday after its reporters launched a secret investigation of the company's production facilities and its outlets this month.

A baker at a Honey Cake outlet said the company had been recycling stale bread and cakes for about three years.

"Every night, the company's 15 outlets send back about 10 cases of expired bread and cakes to the workshops in Haizhu district for recycling," Xiao was quoted as saying in Guangzhou Daily.

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