“Pork, the other blue meat”... wait, what?! Shoppers in the Chinese city of Shanghai have been singing the blues of late, and they've got a good reason to be upset: the pork they've been buying glows in the dark! It's enough to make anyone who sees blue, see red.
Sources state that a woman who bought a kilogram (2.2 lbs) of fresh pork at a meat market on Yang Gao North Road noticed an eerie blue glow coming from leftover meat she had used to stuff dumplings. The glow was too faint to be visible in daylight.
When a reporter was called to her house to witness the phenomenon, the remaining 500 grams of pork was seen to emit blue light and, even though it had been purchased almost 2 days previously, did not have an “off” smell.
The reporter noted that her hands and fingers also began to glow after she had handled the pork. When washed with water, her hands no longer glowed and although the pork still glowed after being rinsed, it did so less brightly.
Several food experts contacted regarding the phenomenon stated that the pork itself could not emit light but bioluminescent bacteria on the meat most definitely could.
The experts referred to a similar incident of “blue glow pork” that had occurred in the city of Changsha in February of 2010. Tests conducted under the supervision of the Changsha Food Safety Commission determined that the cause was secondary bacterial contamination.
The Shanghai Health Supervision Department, while not confirming the exact cause of the blue meat, advised consumers that pork contaminated by phosphorescent bacteria is still safe to eat, albeit only after being cooked. All well and good but the question remains: how did bioluminescent bacteria get into pork sold in China's meat markets?
One theory is that unscrupulous pork venders injected meat with contaminated water in an effort to increase its weight - and their profits. Whatever the reason, the case has hit a nerve among Chinese citizens already on edge from repeated food scandals and the ongoing nuclear crisis in Japan. Hmm, would the bacon be blue too? Mmm, blue bacon... (via China Smack and KDS, blue pig image via Melissa Evans)