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Last Updated: Friday, 4 November 2005, 14:05 GMT
South Korea acts on kimchi scare
Korean woman make huge batches of kimchi
Kimchi is a popular accompaniment to many other dishes
South Korea is to streamline food safety enforcement after discovering parasite eggs in the country's signature dish, kimchi.

The issue of the fermented cabbage concoction has also led to a trade war with China, after South Korea said it had found parasites in Chinese kimchi.

Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing appeared to call for calm on Friday, saying the row could be resolved.

He added that kimchi, usually seen as a healthy food, was his favourite dish.

After a string of food scares in South Korea in recent weeks, including the discovery of a carcinogenic dye in freshwater fish, a health and welfare ministry official said food safety management needed to be tightened, according to the newspaper Chosun Ilbo.

Made by fermenting cabbage with red peppers, radishes and a lot of garlic and ginger
Very spicy and strong - consumers tend to love or loathe it
Reported earlier this year to help cure bird flu

At the moment, a number of ministries are responsible for different foodstuffs.

The move came after the Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) announced on Thursday that it had found parasite eggs in 16 brands of its kimchi. The infected products accounted for 4.9% of kimchi production last year.

The tainted kimchi mainly contained the eggs of roundworm, which is found in dogs and cats and does not normally effect humans.

The KFDA tested the kimchi after China claimed it was infected. Last month South Korea banned kimchi imports from China after finding parasites found in human faeces.

Mr Li said on Friday that the issue should be resolved with "flexibility and creativity".

"Kimchi is one of my favourite topics, because I personally love it," he said.

Korean dish 'may cure bird flu'
14 Mar 05 |  Asia-Pacific

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