MANY Shanghai locals are big fans of pickled or marinated cuisines using fresh animals from the sea and river, but soon they will have to say goodbye to this dining habit because the city is about to ban the foods.

The Shanghai Food Safety Office said yesterday that it is developing a blacklist of dishes that will be banned from production and sale. Gu Zhenhua, the office's deputy director, said they were still refining the blacklist and the rules by judging the safety risks in such dishes but the ban will soon come into effect.

He said it's already been decided that several traditional cuisines including pickled clam and marinated shrimp, both very popular in local Chinese restaurants, will be banned. Restaurants and food companies caught violating the rules will be fined up to five times the value of the banned foods.

The official added that business operators will have to provide evidence that their jellyfish have been pickled at least three times to meet food safety standards.

The blacklist will be flexible by season and continuously updated, Gu said. For example, salted minced crab, also called crab paste, will be prohibited only in summer and autumn because there are higher risks of minced crab turning bad during those seasons.

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