If you’re a frequent shopper of fresh food, you’re likely drawn to the radiant hues of meat in the butchers’ stand. But beware, the vibrant colors that catch your eye may be the result of a sneaky lighting device known as “FreshLight,” artificially enhancing the appearance of agricultural products.
This situation is about to change. As complaints about the quality of these “good-looking agri-products” grow, China’s market supervision authorities recently announced a ban on this kind of lighting devices, aiming to protect consumer rights and safeguard the quality of agricultural products.
The ban will take effect on December 1, 2023.
Fresh light is seen in a downtown wet market in Shanghai.
Shanghai Daily visited a local agricultural produce market in suburban Baoshan District, one of the largest in the region that provides the majority of raw meat and seafood products available locally.
At the site, rolls of meat stands were shadowed in fresh red light, while seafood and vegetable booths were mainly covered in cold light.
One of the booth owners said that fresh lights for meat products and seafood have been used since the market was established about a decade ago. “Everyone here uses it. It makes our meat look better, ” she explained.
Meat stands are shadowed in fresh red light.
When asked about the recent policy banning the use of such lights, she shrugged, claiming she had not been informed about the latest measures.
“They (the market managers) mentioned it once a long time ago, but no one takes it seriously,” she noted. “Even if these lights are banned, we still have many regular customers who trust our quality. It will only be a minor loss of business for us.”
Meat pieces under the red light
An elderly shopper living nearby also expressed similar views. “We regular visitors don’t pay much attention to the light. We know a good piece of meat by hand. The light is just for newcomers.”
A search for “fresh lights” on major online shopping platform Taobao revealed that the monthly sales of such items in some popular stores exceeded 2,000 units and new orders are still being made on a daily basis. “Good meat businesses come with good fresh lights” was the often-repeated slogans used on the front page.
Source: SHINE Editor: Wang Qingchu