​Chemically-bleached beef organs found in southern Vietnam

The treated organs were meant to sell as fresh products

Police inspect an internal-organ-processing facility in Dong Nai Province, southern Vietnam. Photo: Tuoi Tre

Police in the southern province of Dong Nai, which neighbors Ho Chi Minh City, have discovered cattle internal organs treated with chemicals to be used as food, during a recent raid on a local establishment.

Officers found around 20 kilograms of beef visceral organs soaked in bleaching chemicals as they stormed into the internal organ-processing facility in the provincial capital of Bien Hoa, police said on Tuesday.

These organs were intended for sale in the market as fresh products.

The authorities also caught six employees processing 400 kilograms of beef internal organs, including intestines, livers and stomachs, on a dirty floor of the location.

The facility’s owner, Trinh Quang Thai, failed to present documents of the organs’ origin and business license at the time of the inspection.

The police gave Thai a financial penalty and seized all the above organs for examination.

Thai said that the organs had been bought from slaughterhouses in Dong Nai and were expected to be consumed locally after being chemically processed.

Around 300 kilograms of internal organs are processed every day, the owner added.

Beef organs can be made into pha lau, also known as stewed organ meats or Vietnamese stew with organ meats, a favorite street food in Vietnam.

The dish can be cooked from beef organ meats, including tripe, intestine, heart, thymus, kidney, stomach and lungs, or pork organs, such as intestine and stomach, and pork ears.

Vietnamese people have developed mistrust for food sold at markets as a number of cases with vegetables and meat contaminated with chemicals have been revealed over the past many years.

In 2016, a facility in Dong Nai and another in a central Vietnamese province were landed in financial punishment after they were found immersing bean sprouts in chemical solutions aimed at stimulating their growth and making them bigger and whiter than usual.

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