CARREFOUR yesterday removed all the cod sold in its stores after people said that it was in fact escolar, usually known as oilfish, sold under the label of cod to cheat consumers.

The company said in response to consumers' questions that it has sealed all the cod, waiting for a third-party institution to test the product. In some Carrefour stores in Shanghai, cod pieces have been replaced by flatfish pieces or shelled fresh shrimp.

Earlier this week, a Beijing resident said in an online forum that she bought fish labeled as cod at a Carrefour outlet and her baby suffered diarrhea afterward.

Some echoed the post, claiming that they may have eaten the fish, causing diarrhea.

Although the company denied the accusation, saying that what they sell was truly cod, it still decided to stop selling the fish temporarily until the issue is clarified.

Many countries have regulations on oilfish. Japan bans it completely. The US FDA has warned consumers about potential mislabeling of oilfish, and the European Union regulates the packaging, labeling and cooking directions. But the Chinese government doesn't ban the sale of oilfish, but only reminds consumers to beware of possible adverse reactions.

Food experts said some people may have adverse reactions if eating too much oilfish due to its high fat content. People can suffer diarrhea but not food poisoning.

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