How to recognize unsafe bamboo shoots

Update: 6/2/2013

On 8/1, Food Hygiene and Safety Department, Ministry of Health advised people to choose non-sulfur bamboo shoot on the occasion of the Lunar New Year.
According to the results of checking the quality of food from Food Safety and Hygiene Department, Ministry of Health, dried bamboo shoots, fresh bamboo shoots in the whole country have been discovered that many dried bamboo samples  contain sulfur and sulfite bring danger to the health of consumers.
Safe dried bamboo shoot samples
Sulfur (people often called brimstone) is often used in the drying process to prevent moisture, to create a better yellow or immersion bleaching chemicals to make products whiter to deceive consumers.

In Vietnam, sulfur is defined as toxic chemicals that is not allowed to use in food processing and preservation. However, as recommended by WHO, the sulfur content should not exceed 20 mg per kg of product.
If consumers use food containing high concentrations of sulfur, without knowing this, it will cause long-term neurological damage, behavioral changes; affect the circulatory system, cardiovascular function, eye damage , loss of vision, influence reproductive function, immune system, endocrine system, affecting the development of the brain.
If acute, the expression is stuffy nose, watery eyes, headaches, chest ... bulk or sulfur, or using sulfur with high concentrations, a great quanlity,  it reacts with moisture to produce sulfur acid, which can cause damage to the lungs, eyes, even blood poisoning, kidney failure ...
Moldy bamboo shoot does not guarantee for safety
According to some experts in the field of food safety, some way of selecting, using and processing of bamboo shoot are recommended such as: you should choose baboo shoots with pale yellow-brown, breakable, amber appearance, meticulous, thick flesh, not moist when touching by hands. If it's young bamboo shoot, it has characteristic aroma, no flavor, no mold.
The Ministry of Health also recommends that only buy dry crops stored in labeled plastic bags, origin.

How to recognize unsafe bamboo shoots
- Sulfur dried bamboo shoots will have a burning odor characteristic of  bamboo shoots soaked in sulfur, when you smell it, there'll be very special SO2 smell (sulfur smell).
- Bamboo shoots soaked in chemicals is often sleeky, goog looking, never get moldy.
- Do not buy unusual colored bamboo shoots.
- Decrease buying regular bamboo shoots not in harvest seasons.
- Only buy dried bamboo preserved in preterm glass with pocket label, address, origin clearly.

Bamboo shoot treatment before processing
- Before being using, they should be washed with clean water well (except for dried bamboo shoots should should be soaked in warm water or rice water for about one night.
- Boil them and change soaking water twice or 3 times (each 30 minutes).
- Do not use moldy, poisoned bamboo shoots to serve processed food.


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