HANGZHOU, Aug. 25 (Xinhua) -- A Chinese cook has gone on trial in east China's Zhejiang Province accused of painting abalones and goose paws to make the dishes more visually appealing, local authorities said on Monday.
The suspect, surnamed Chen, 27, painted inedible pigment on 12 abalones and 100 goose paws worth 4,786 yuan (777 U.S. dollars) since March 2013, according to the Xihu District People's Court of Hangzhou City, Zhejiang Province.
The use of such pigment in food is banned. The court indictment issued on Sunday said that Chen was involved in the crime of manufacturing and selling poisonous and harmful food.
Chen worked in a hotel in Hangzhou. There were customer complaints in early 2013 that the goose paws Chen cooked did not look good.
The head chef then asked Chen to improve or he would be sacked. Chen is alleged to have then bought the pigment and begun applying it to the abalones and goose paws.
The pigment was found by health authorities during a check on the hotel on August 6, 2013.
The trial continues.