Aquatic products including golden scallops and clams sold in Alibaba’s Hema fresh produce stores in Guangzhou were contaminated with chloramphenicol, a broad-spectrum antibiotic, reported Chinese media outlet The Beijing News on Saturday, citing quality supervision authorities in Guangzhou, capital of south China’s Guangdong province.
The antibiotic, which could adversely affect an individual’s hematopoietic system, is prohibited from animal foods, said the Guangzhou Administration for Market Regulation in an announcement.
Hema told The Beijing News that the unqualified seafood had been removed and destroyed, adding that it had terminated cooperation with the suppliers who provided the contaminated products.
Alibaba created Hema as early as 2015 as part of its “new retail strategy”. Its offline stores allow individuals to shop and dine while its mobile apps allow online ordering and delivery.
The number of Hema stores will reach 150 across China after a new one is to be opened to the public on May 1 in Beijing.
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