• Thu
  • Dec 18, 2014
  • Updated: 4:30am

Police seize chicken feet in storage since 1967, smuggled from Vietnam

PUBLISHED : Monday, 08 July, 2013, 9:54am
UPDATED : Monday, 08 July, 2013, 3:28pm

When police raided an illegal food storage site in Nanning, capital of the Guangxi autonomous region, they found decades-old chicken feet waiting to be processed. Some even dated to 1967, during the tumultuous days of the Cultural Revolution.

The storage site, raided by police in May, was run by a gang that reportedly smuggled chicken feet, beef tripe and cartilage from Vietnam across the porous border to Guangxi.

Some 20 tonnes of meat were seized in the raid, according to Xinhua. The bygone chicken feet, in particular, were brought into China frozen; they would then be processed with bleach and other chemicals to add weight and improve its colouring.

Through this process, the group managed to turn 1kg of old chicken feet into 1.5kg of seemingly fresh chicken feet, making up to 16,000 yuan (HK$20,230) profit on each tonne.

Local police quoted by the paper said that most inferior-quality meat had been smuggled from Vietnam. Over the last 12 months, police at the border hub Fangchenggang pursued seven similar cases of smuggled chicken feet, seizing 20 million yuan worth of tampered product.

"The entire processing facilty 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."

Chicken feet are not the only items smuggled from the southern neighbour. Illegal imports of bear paws are also booming, according to the report. Last year, 141 smuggled bear paws were confiscated in one raid, Guangxi Forestry Police chief Luo Weidong told the news agency.

The paws had already started to rot and smell. Restaurants would cook the paws, which can cost thousands of yuan, in a way that would hide the smell.

In a similar case in May, two Russians were arrested in Inner Mongolia when they tried to smuggle 213 bear paws into China, worth 2.8 million yuan.

Newspaper reports on both sides of the Sino-Vietnamese border have been shaming their respective governments into tackling illegal trade.

During Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang's state visit to China last month, a crackdown on cross-border crime was one of the few points he and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping could find agreement as tensions rose over a territorial dispute in the South China Sea.

According to Vietnamese media, however, the ills of smuggling go the other way. Chicken, sturgeon, and fruit and vegetable imports from China have been blamed for undercutting local prices. One of the more weird recent cases was that of Chinese-made "witch pens" reportedly smuggled to Vietnam to defraud locals with fraudulent contracts. 


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Holy Guacamole, 1967 chicken feet! WTF!!!! Why on earth would they preserve them and sell them after 45 years? Is there any accuracy to what the report claims to be a 45 year old chicken feet? Where there any people who got complains about diseases and ailments caused by the chicken feet?
Just a brief overview on how chicken should be handled, stored and cooked. Raw chicken (as a whole) has a high spoil rate and if exposed to more than or >4 degrees Celsius will activate salmonela bacteria on it's skin. Chicken in particular smells bad after 2 weeks of storage in a chiller. Although chicken can be stored for at least a year but with conditions that it should be greater than -15 degrees Celsius. Chicken as a whole is one of the most perishable food item together with egg and fish. It contains at least 40 known viruses and bacteria if not properly handled. Storing chicken should be 12 inches above ground and make sure the blood by products are completely if not all drained from the chicken to store it in a chiller. Boxes should be kept dry and the chicken itself should be wrapped in a clear plastic bag before putting it inside a large box. Avoid boxed chicken near boxed beef or pork or fish to avoid cross contamination. Cooking fresh chicken uses higher temperature 80 degrees Celsius minimum compared to fresh pork or fresh ham or fresh beef 77 degrees Celsius.
The way that food is now made with hormones, pesticides, chemicals, etc... maybe 45 year old chicken feet is actually healthier than fresh ones that have been processed with god knows what... lol..
This is typical communist way of pointing finger at others and blame them for their weakness. In this article, they make it sound like Russians and Vietnamese traders are bad guys. But if the Chinese don't eat bear's paws, monkey's brains or chicken feet then there would be no sellers.
It is the way of confucius teachings!!! If you are not aware of it, you are not guilty of what you have done. The smugglers will claim they did not know the chicken feet dates back to 1967.
In almost every other part of the world, cross-border smuggling would mostly involve drugs or maybe some sort of money laundering, etc. Only in East Asia would you get the smuggling of meat products and vegetables as a headache for custom authorities. SMH.
so chicken feet have a fishy and foul smell? no wonder they taste so damn good in any way they were prepared. chinese cooking, way to go!!! definitely going dim sum tomorrow
hmmmm, chicken feet, yummie. Very delicious and good for your healthy...
That's like saying the US blaming Mexican drug cartels for smuggling drugs into the US, when all the pot-heads and drug users in the US are the cause. And where did it say that the Russian and Vietnamese smugglers (not traders) were blamed? Quit being so sensitive.


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