SAMPLES of preserved fruits on sale in Shanghai were sent for testing yesterday after a state television report claimed they contained excessive additives that could be harmful to health.

Officials said the results would be announced in about a week.

Meanwhile, Shanghai-based preserved food chain store Laiyifen has stopped selling all fruit products from the three suppliers in the eastern city of Hangzhou named in the China Central Television program broadcast on Tuesday.

The Shanghai Industrial and Commercial Administrative Bureau said that more than 7,800 kilograms of preserved fruits, both from Laiyifen and supermarkets, had been removed from shelves. A total of 30 samples will be tested, of which 14 are from Laiyifen.

"From now on we will carry out a citywide inspection on preserved fruits markets, and the amount of food additives will be an emphasis of the inspection," said Guo Shuting, an official with the bureau's food department.

Meanwhile, the Shanghai Bureau of Quality and Technical Supervision also inspected Laiyifen's suppliers in Shanghai, but hadn't found many problems.

Officials said they were inspecting all the preserved food manufacturers in the city.

Laiyifen also said it will send product samples to inspection authorities for further examination. Customers who worry about the safety of preserved fruits they bought from Laiyifen can return them for a refund at any of its outlets.

The company said that yesterday it had accepted more requests for refunds than usual.

One customer expressed disappointment at the claims. "I always buy their stuff when I pass the store," said a consumer surnamed Chen. "And now I don't think I'll buy anything there for a long time."

The CCTV investigation found excessive amounts of harmful food additives being used in the production of preserved fruits in three factories.

The additives, including flavoring, coloring and bleaching agents, were potentially harmful to the liver and kidneys, according to CCTV.

They were also being used in workshops that were extremely filthy, according to the TV report.

CCTV later sent some samples purchased in stores for testing and the results showed that the amount of additives were higher than the country's standard.

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