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China’s latest food scandal: Tainted chicken feet frozen for 50 years

Thirty-eight people have been arrested in China on suspicion of selling or producing chicken feet contaminated with hydrogen peroxide, the latest food safety scandal that has shocked the country.

Some of the chicken feet had been stored in a freezer for nearly fifty years, the Xinhua News Agency said.

Police seized 30,000 metric tons of poisonous chicken feet, one of the country’s most popular snacks, and busted 12 factories producing them.

The scandal emerged in September last year when food regulators discovered hydrogen peroxide residue in chicken feet sold at a store in Yongjia County, Zhejiang province.

Hydrogen peroxide can cause cancer. It was added to the chicken feet to clean them and give them a lighter color.

In July, police in Nanning, the capital of south China’s Guangxi Zhuang region, said they had confiscated more than 20 tons of low-quality long-expired chicken feet from a frozen meat warehouse.

Chicken feet, or fengzhao in Chinese, are often served as a cold dish eaten with a beer.

Police found nine other companies producing tainted chicken feet in Jiangsu, Anhui, Henan and Guangdong provinces, involving brands such Huixiang and Bailefu.

Last year, Xinhua reported that expired chicken wings, legs and heads were processed with chemicals and excessive food additives and sold through markets.

In another recent food safety scandal, 17 people were charged with selling dog meat tainted by cyanide in Zhejiang Province. They killed dogs by poisoning them with cyanide by injecting them with a hypodermic syringe, knowing that the meat could become poisonous, state media CCTV reported.

A month ago, Yum Brands Inc, McDonald’s Corp, and several other international fast food chains were found to be selling expired meat provided by a local supplier — Shanghai Husi Food Co Ltd.

Sources: Xinhua News Agency, Shanghai Morning Post (新闻晨报)

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Hui Zhi is the Senior Manager for Content with the China Compliance Digest, where a version of this post first appeared.

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