Recently the U.S Department of Agriculture gave the green-light to 4 chicken processing plants in China. The whole thing should is about raising and slaughtering chickens in the U.S., but transporting them to China for the processing and then getting it back to the U.S. for sale.
The thing that is even more surprising is that the chicken won’t have a country-of-origin nor will American inspectors be on site at the processing plants in China.
I am a little bit shocked I must admit by this decision, since we all know that China is a country notorious for avian influenza and food-borne illnesses. And, food safety experts say that it don’t make much sense, because that chicken will have to travel 7000 miles, unload it, transport it to a processing plant, unpack it, cut it up, process/cook it, freeze it, repack it, transport it back to a port and then ship it for another 7000 miles.
But, the Bureau of Labor Statistics data estimates that American poultry processors are roughly paid $11 per hour on average. On the other hand, in China they would are paid $1-2 per hour. Which means, there are a lot of costs cut.
This is not something unfamiliar to the U.S and China, since U.S. seafood is already being processed in China. The fish processors in the Northwest, including Seattle-based Trident Sea foods, are sending part of their catch of Alaskan salmon or Dungeness crab to China to be filleted or de-shelled before returning to U.S. tables.
Why? Well, it’s because if it costs $1 in America, it costs 20 cents in China.
But, China has an infamous reputation as one of the world’s worst food safety offenders. That’s why the Food Safety News aims to spread awareness of this pending USDA agreements with China, and stop this processed chicken from ever reaching any supermarket shelf.