Chicken feet from 1967 were reportedly being sold as fresh in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region of southern China. Nearly 20 tons of chicken feet, stamped with the date “1967,” were recovered by Nanning police.
The feet are often smuggled into China illegally, as many countries regard them as waste. Feet and other chicken parts are often brought into China illegally from countries including the US and the UK.
As reported by China Digital Times, the parts are transported among other goods, including lumber or fruit and vegetables. The feet are usually frozen before they are shipped. To enhance their appearance, some providers soak the chicken feet in bleach or hydrogen peroxide prior to freezing.
Authorities in Guangxi have recovered over $3 million worth of illegally smuggled chicken feet over the past seven years. The illegal trade is often lucrative for smugglers. However, the quality of the feet is questionable.
As reported by The Telegraph, the chicken feet dated 1967 were confiscated as part of a raid on an underground market known for providing questionable tripe, throat, and chicken feet to Chinese food markets. Most of the products were reportedly outdated.
Security Chief Li Jianmin explains that the feet were likely treated with numerous chemicals “to kill bacteria, prolong the expiry date,” and to make them appear “white and big.”
Illegal trade in chicken parts appeals to distributors as the parts are usually seen as waste in other countries. In China, the feet are a delicacy.
As reported by People’s Daily Online, authorities raiding the facilities stated that the filth and odor were overpowering. However, the chemicals used on the feet mask the odor from consumers.
Authorities are pleased that they were able to confiscate the chicken feet dated 1967. However, they explain that smuggling is not likely to slow or stop. The profits are simply too enticing. They state that the smugglers will likely find other ways to transport the products across the border.
[Image via itlab.us]