Is that True About“Gelatin-injected Shrimps”?


       Recently, media of Mainland China reported that consumers found shrimps stuffed with unknown gelatin-like substance. Allegedly, unscrupulous sellers injected jello-like substance to make more profit, since the blob of stuffing adds weight to the shrimps and makes them look more appealing. Competent regulatory authorities have already taken action to investigate the case, though there is no conclusive evidence of food safety crisis induced by “gelatin-injected shrimps” so far. Nevertheless, the incident has already garnered much public concern.


If “gelatin-injected shrimps” do exist, the associated hazards are:

  1. “Gelatin-injected shrimps” refer to shrimps suspected to have been injected with unknown gelatin-like substance into their heads or bodies. The filling adds weight to the shrimps and keeps them in good shape;
  2. Since these shrimps could have been contaminated by the unknown gelatin-like substance, their quality is being affected. Consumption of these questionable shrimps could result in health hazard. 

What actions should be taken by the Macao SAR government to prevent “gelatin-injected shrimps” from entering the local market?

       So far, no shrimps suspected to be injected with gelatin-like substance have entered Macao and the level of food risk has not been heightened under routine food surveillance and assessment. But owning to public concerns, IAM has already widened its scope of surveillance and the following measures have been adopted:

  1. In terms of imports, inspection and quarantine of marine products have been reinforced to prevent any questionable marine products from entering Macao;
  2. Maintain close contact with concerned authorities of Mainland China through the established information exchange mechanism. It enables IAM to take timely actions and necessary follow-ups to ensure the safety of food supplied to Macao;
  3. In terms of food circulation, investigations are conducted in markets citywide. Suppliers and retailers of shrimps have been consulted to understand the state of the situation;
  4. Adopted necessary preventive measures, as in taking the initiative to provide the food trade and public with instructive information and holding publicity campaign. 

Advice to the trade

  1. Make sure that the sources of supplies are reliable and order goods from reputable suppliers;
  2. All marine products are subject to inspection and quarantine conducted by IAM before they can be supplied to or placed for sale in Macao;
  3. Lawful operation; comply with legislation and guidelines;
  4. In case the shrimps for sale showing abnormalities, stop selling them immediately and notify IAM about the case. 

Advice to the public

  1. Buy shrimps from licensed shops and market stalls of good hygiene condition. Do not patronize vendors of unknown origin;
  2. Upon purchase of shrimps, check on the colour of their bodies. Never buy shrimps whose heads or bodies are overly bloated;
  3. Do not buy or consume shrimps with objectionable smell or whose colour appears abnormal;
  4. Be a smart consumer! If there are doubts about the safety of a food product, do not buy or consume it.