XIAN - Mushrooms whitened by poisonous chemicals are the latest food scare out of China.
Suppliers in Shanxi, the capital of Xian in north-western China, used strong chemical additives to bleach mushrooms so that they would appear fresh, Chinese reports said.
Undercover reporters found that the mushrooms were being soaked in a milky-white liquid with a pungent smell.
Local media said the liquid comprised chlorinating agents, anhydrous calcium chloride, sodium sulfite and other chemical additives and preservatives.
The toxic chemicals could cause kidney failure and even death when ingested, the reports said.
After bleaching the mushrooms, the merchants even added some soil so that they looked more "natural".