Shanghai food watchdog checks KFC chicken samples

Updated: 2012-12-19 16:27


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SHANGHAI - Shanghai's municipal food safety administration said Wednesday it is testing samples of raw chicken supplied to fast food chain KFC over public concerns about excessive amounts of antibiotics.

The Shanghai Food and Drug Administration said the test results can be expected on Thursday at the earliest.

China Central Television reported earlier this week that some chicken farmers in east China's Shandong province have given their chicken with excessive amounts of antibiotics, including amantadine and ribavirin, to make them survive in overcrowded chicken houses.

Local farmers sold the chickens to Shandong Liuhe Group and Yingtai Co, which claim to be suppliers for KFC.

The report has triggered nationwide concerns over the safety of KFC's chicken. The chain has about 300 stores in Shanghai, which receive a great deal of raw chicken from Shandong.

The Shanghai Food and Drug Administration said it has taken 32 samples of raw chicken products from a logistics center belonging to Yum Brands Inc, KFC's parent company, in Shanghai.

According to the administration's probe, the logistics center's purchase records do suggest that the Shandong Liuhe Group was a supplier, although no purchases were made from the supplier after May.

The inventory from previous purchases has already been sold, according to the investigation.

KFC said Tuesday that it stopped buying raw chicken from Shandong Liuhe in August. The company said it uses its own criteria to test raw chicken supplies for drug residue, as well as checks its suppliers' feed and drug records annually.

China's poultry raising regulations state that chickens may not be given drugs within one week of being slaughtered.

However, poultry farmers in Shandong told reporters that their chickens might die within two days in crowded chicken houses if they were not given antibiotics.

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