Farine Stores Closed Following Food Safety Investigation

By Betty Richardson, March 23, 2017

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UPDATE #1 (March 23, 2017 at 6.33pm CST): Eight people have been detained by the authorities following the food safety allegations, more information here.

UPDATE #2 (March 25, 2017 at 2.20am CST): Farine has officially released a statement in response to the food sanitary scandal. Read the full thing here.

Popular French bakery Farine has temporarily closed all of its Shanghai stores following a CFDA (China Food & Drug Administration) investigation, over serious food safety allegations made by an individual claiming to be a Farine employee. 

In a sensational Weibo post that has set Chinese social media alight, a user under the handle of @1987晋宝宝 claimed to have witnessed the bakery using expired flour to make its premium baked products, mentioning Farine founder, French expat Franck Pécol, by name.

An accompanying video appeared to show product labels with an expiry date of December 2016. The video also showed what appeared to be mold-infested flour baskets near the front of the store, though it is unclear whether these were for use in the bakery. 

Farine expired flour


Watch the video below (VPN off):

Further allegations made by the user included baked products being stored on mould-covered cloths, staff seiving out mould from raw flour and claims of live rats in the store. 

Following the post, the market supervision authority of Minhang District has commenced an investigation of the company headquarters on Jianling Lu, confiscating up to 500 bags of flour for testing and analysis.

In a statement released to That's Shanghai, Farine has confirmed that they are cooperating with the authorities to resolve the matter: 

"There has been allegations made against the bakery with regards to the raw ingredients we use. We take this allegations very seriously and we are also working closely with the Shanghai authorities to resolve this matter. 

Stores have been closed to facilitate and fasten authorities inspections.

Please trust that we are committed to insure the best service to our customers. We look forward to updating our valued customers in a transparent manner."

The bakery has promised to release further statements following the conclusion of a formal investigation by the authorities. 


Stay tuned for updates on this story. 

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