Some 800 tonnes of smuggled frozen meat have been seized by Chinese authorities, including one batch dating from the 1970s, state media reported.
The meat was bound for restaurants, retailers and supermarkets in Hunan province, where it was found, and other Chinese provinces and major cities, according to a report from Xinhua, China’s official news agency, on Tuesday.
The seized meat included poultry and beef and was reported to be worth 10 million yuan ($1.6 million).
Some packages were rotten and others were around 40 years old — packed and stamped at the height of China’s Cultural Revolution.
According to the Hunan Daily, a local newspaper, officials said some of the beef was from India and passed through Guangxi, a southern region bordering Vietnam.
CNN contacted customs authorities in Changsha, the provincial capital of Hunan, which said that local media reports on the meat seizures were correct and declined to give further details.
Including the most recent operation, this month Chinese customs officials have seized more than 100,000 tonnes of smuggled frozen meat worth almost $500 million in crackdowns across 14 provinces and detained 21 smuggling groups, Xinhua reported.
China has experienced a string of stomach-churning food scandals in recent years.
The most high-profile recent case involved a U.S.-owned meat factory operating in China that was accused of selling out-of-date and tainted meat to clients including McDonald’s, Starbucks, KFC and Pizza Hut chains.