China's latest food scare comes courtesy of Mother Nature for a change. It seems that bullfrogs, sold live in eastern China as a gourmet specialty item, have come down with cholera. Officials from the Suzhou Center for Disease Control and Prevention found evidence of Vibrio cholerae in the livers of bullfrogs tested in the course of a during a regular market inspection.
Though bullfrog livers are not usually eaten and Cholera bacteria are rendered harmless by cooking, the potential seriousness of a cholera outbreak among humans prompted authorities to swing into action. One of their first steps was to seize more than 400 kilograms (880 lbs) of bullfrogs from several wholesalers operating in Shanghai's popular Tongchuan Road market.
The cholera scare comes at an inopportune time for sellers as it's currently the height of the “bullfrog season”, with 30,000 to 40,000 kg of frogs per day being sold at the market. That's a lotta frogs! Most of the bullfrogs are sourced from “breeding cooperatives” (farms) in southeastern China's Fujian province, most of whom are less than pleased.
Though there have not been any cases of cholera reported in bullfrogs tested in other Chinese cities, the Shanghai Center for Disease Control and Prevention is continuing to test frogs and has announced that steps will be taken to prevent local restaurants from serving suspect bullfrogs. (via Shanghai Daily, image via Shanghaiist)