Chinese KFC Chicken Supplier in Feed Scandal
A Chinese poultry supplier to fast food chain KFC was discovered to have accelerated the growth of chickens using the harmful “instant chicken” chemical feed, sparking food safety concerns, according to a recent report.
“The feed has been laced with chemicals and additives,” a worker with the Shanxi Province-based Suhai Group told China Economic Net in a report last week. “We don’t know exactly what it is, but it is definitely harmful. Even flies that buzzed around the toxic feed died.”
“Young people don’t dare to work here,” he said.
Suhai Group raises the chickens on feed that contain additives that speed up their growth cycle to 45 days. The report indicated that there were three types of chicken feed that contained additives that affect chickens’ bone development, provide extra nutrition, and allow the poultry to gain two to three ounces in weight daily over 10 days, according to the China Economic Net.
The chemical additives are produced inhouse by Suhai Group and are then handed to workers in feed processing factories, according to the report. Some 500 bags of the additives are produced per day, using chemical ingredients including silver nitrate, chloride, and a sterilization medicament.
In the process, around 5,000 chicks are kept in each shed—greatly increasing the risk for infectious diseases to spread—and are given the additive-laced feed and medicine to enhance their immune system. The idea is apparently to raise and kill them quickly enough, in 45 days, before the chemical additives start to adversely affect the chickens.
The matured chickens are then sold to KFC, large-scale supermarkets, and reportedly McDonald’s. Five to six batches of chickens are produced per year, with a net profit of 2 to 3 yuan ($0.32 to $0.48) per chicken, a salesperson was quoted as saying by the China Economic Net.
The chicken feed scandal prompted the Chinese public to express concerns over food safety.
“Even if it is 1 percent, it’s still using it, right?” one person said.
“It may be 1 percent to the producer, but it’s 100 percent to the consumer! Is there anything edible left?” another responded.
In recent years, China’s food industry has been rocked by a spate of scandals and critical reports. In July, the coach of China’s women’s volleyball team said the team would not eat meat “when competing for fear of clenbuterol,” a fat-burning chemical banned by international sporting agencies. It is commonly used to raise Chinese livestock and prompted a major safety concern.
In the most well-publicized example, milk products tainted with the industrial chemical melamine killed several infants and sickened many more in 2008. The authorities covered up the scandal so the bad news would not mar preparations for the Beijing Olympics.
With reporting by Jack Phillips.
Read the original Chinese article.
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