This article is from the archive of our partner .

Substituting one type of animal meat for another is always a big no-no, but we're not sure we've ever seen this particular mix-up. Walmart has been forced to issue a recall of its signature "five spice" donkey meat in China, because they mega-retailer found it was tainted by DNA from other animals, possibly fox.

Walmart China's "fox in your donkey meat" scandal has been brewing ever since the Shandong Food and Drug Administration said Walmart's donkey product contained fox. Walmart didn't confirm or deny the regulators' claims, but they did say they found traces of DNA from other animals that weren't donkeys in their donkey meat. 

 

"We are deeply sorry for this whole affair," WalMart China's Greg Foran said in a statement. "It is a deep lesson that we need to continue to increase investment in supplier management," he added. The Telegraph reports that customers who bought the fox-laced donkey meat will be issued reimbursements. 

This recall brings up some basic questions like: What else is Walmart selling that we don't know about ? What does donkey meat taste like? What does Walmart's donkey meat taste like? Could anyone actually taste the fox?

After poking around the Internet, we found that donkey meat is often compared to horse. And fox, according to a man who eats roadkill, is lean and young ones often taste like chicken. That said, I am not sure who would be able to tell if there was chicken (which has a more malleable taste) in their horse meat (which is probably stronger tasting). 

But there are bigger problems for Walmart. This scandal could be a black mark on their donkey meat and threatens to ruin the store's whole reputation in China. The company plans to open 110 new stores there in the next few years to tap into China's $1 trillion food and grocery market, NBC News reports. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.