The arrests were part of a national crackdown on "deep-seated food safety problems" that need to be addressed, an official, whose name was not reported, told China's state-run Xinhua news agency.
Officials said they discovered nearly 400 cases of meat fraud and seized more than 20,000 tons of fake meat.
Authorities discovered cases in which suppliers used hydrogen peroxide to process chicken claws, and others injected water into meat to increase its weight, CNN reported.
In one case, suspects made fake mutton using meat from foxes, mink and rats after adding chemicals, Xinhua reported Thursday.
An official said investigators will now focus on dairy products after a high-profile case in which melamine, a compound used to make resins, was found in baby milk formula.