Pork products sold as bogus beef in massive meat scam: Bangkok

Muslims and serious steak connoisseurs might want to think twice before buying beef online after testing found a high chance it could be fake.

Almost all 42 samples of “beef” ordered online or sampled at schools in Bangkok and Prachinburi province by The Halal Science Center at Chulalongkorn University were found to be fake. It said that all the beef it ordered online and 70% of the school samples turned out to be pork marinated in ox blood. It added that harmful bacteria were detected in an undisclosed portion of the samples.

Alongkon Phonlabut of the Agriculture and Cooperatives Ministry said Saturday that the fake beef has become more and more prevalent since May, when hawkers in the capital and surrounding provinces as well as online vendors sought to increase profits during the pandemic. 

The problem seems concentrated in online restaurant suppliers and street vendors while most retail outlets have reportedly been unaffected.

Representatives from 10 ministries and associations including livestock and consumer protection officials met Saturday to discuss further investigation into the source of the misleading meat. 

Alongkon said it had caused a collapse of trust at the nation’s 150,000-plus Halal restaurants, and could affect Muslim travelers as well as exports to the billions living in Muslim-majority nations.

Those with information about potential scams are encouraged to call the consumer complaint hotline at 1166. Those concerned about their meat can take it for free testing at the Halal Science Center (022-181-054), located near the National Stadium on the campus of Chulalongkorn University.

Read more stories from Coconuts Bangkok here

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