Chicken Feet 1967: China Seizes Decades-Old Meat In Guangxi

By iScienceTimes Staff on July 8, 2013 3:08 PM EDT

chicken feet
In Guangxi, China, police seized chicken feet from 1967, which was among many tons of illegal meat that was set to be processed and sold. (Photo: Reuters)

Chicken feet from the year 1967 have been seized from a storage site in Guanxi, China, where the 46-year-old chicken feet were waiting to be processed and sold as food

The 1967 chicken feet were among 20 tons of meat seized from the site, along with beef tripe and cartilage. A gang reportedly smuggled in the old chicken feet and assorted meats from China's porous border with Vietnam, according to the South China Morning Post.

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"These raw materials were smuggled from neighboring countries and smugglers would soak them in toxic chemical solutions to remove the blood and smell and sell them on to markets," said Chinese police.

"The entire processing facility had a fishy and foul smell," Li Jianmin, from the local Public Security Bureau told the news agency. "You just couldn't stand it after one or two minutes."

The gang reportedly was planning to sell the frozen 1967 chicken feet, which were labeled with the year on their packaging, after processing them with bleach. Chicken feet are a delicacy in China; Shanghai Daily claims that smugglers can buy a ton of chicken feet for about $800 and sell it within China for $3,200.

Shanghai Daily also reports that in the past year another smuggled Chinese delicacy--bear paws--have been turning up in the Guangxi region, with 141 bear paws seized last year. Like the 1967 chicken feet, the foul-smelling bear paws were processed with chemicals and then sold at a high price. 

The chicken feet and bear paw seizures highlight the many food violations in China, which range from bizarre to outright dangerous. 

Last week, Shanghai police raided two crayfish restaurants that were adding poppy seeds to their dishes in the hopes of getting their customers addicted to their soups.

In May, Chinese authorities broke up a crime ring that had allegedly sold $1.6 million worth of rat, fox and mink meat since 2009, disguising the meat with things like gelatin in order to disguise the meat's true origin. The raid was part of a crackdown on tainted meat, a food safety campaign which Chinese Premier Li Kegiang said would be enforced with an "iron fist."

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