China rejects shipment of frozen US sardines

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BEIJING, Oct 2 (Reuters) China has found poisonous bacteria in a shipment of frozen sardines prepared in the US and shipped by a Japanese trading company, state media said today.

The fish, worth around ,000, were rejected on Saturday after checks showed they were contaminated with 'listeria monocytogens', the official Xinhua agency reported, citing an Inspection and Quarantine Bureau in eastern Shandong province.

The bacteria can cause breathing problems, vomiting, rashes fever and lead to meningitis, the report added.

China has highlighted several quality concerns with US products in recent months, an apparent response to complaints in Washington about the safety of Chinese exports ranging from toys to toothpaste.

Previous checks by Chinese authorities have picked up worms in wood packaging, pork kidneys with banned growth agent in them, sub-standard frozen potato slices, and contaminated soya beans.

Beijing is also taking steps to clean up its own manufacturing sector, whose reputation has been tarnished by recent product recalls, including for lead-tainted toys.

REUTERS ARB HS1516

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