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Chicken McNuggets from China

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http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013...

Given China's less than competent food safety record, be afraid. Or stop eating chicken McNuggets.

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  1. Oh, I know!!!! I read this yesterday and was horrified. Just horrified. The problem is not only that they'll sell this food here, but that we'll have no way to know that it came from there. I've long made a point of not buying food items from China (frozen fish, pine nuts, etc.). Unfortunately, we actually do like chicken nuggets at home (there are some nice varieties, organic, healthier); it's one of the few things my picky toddler eats, and it is so helpful when life gets hectic. But now...
    If consumers stop buying processed chicken products, maybe food manufacturers will be forced to review this decision. Ugh.

    1. http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2013/09...
      Statement from the USDA administrator on the subject.

      1. Or make them yourself using a source of poultry you can verify.

        1. Glad I don't eat chicken

          1. I read about this yesterday. I don't eat any processed chicken food items, but I would stop if I did. I can't believe that they're allowing this.

            Doesn't anyone remember the HUGE outbreak of avian flu in the live chicken population of China? Thousands of dogs were sickened on Chinese-made dog jerky?

            Quite frankly, I don't really trust the USDA. How much you want to bet that the USDA would "quietly allow" the eventual use of Chinese-raised chicken in these products?

            And now the American chicken processing plants will no longer have USDA inspectors, but they'll be replaced with employees of those companies? Ummm.....isn't that like allowing the fox to guard the hen house? That is completely idiotic.

            1 Reply
            1. re: LindaWhit

              If there are no US inspectors in the Chinese plants, what's to stop the Chinese plants from adding anything they so choose to the chicken products?

            2. Since we don't even feed our dogs foods and treats manufactured in China, we wouldn't, ourselves buy any consumables from there. Since this Nanny State has chosen to mask country-of-origin going forward, No more chicken in this household.

              2 Replies
              1. re: RedTop

                Your use of the phrase Nanny State makes no sense at all in this context.

                1. re: Glencora

                  Noted.

              2. I think the key is to buy real food you can verify the source of and make it yourself.

                That said, I've never eaten a chicken nugget and I don't plan to make my own, either.

                I'm thinking of the lines of Chinese parents lining up to buy American baby formula because they don't trust and refuse to buy China's stuff. Can't blame them.

                2 Replies
                1. re: mcf

                  my thought, exactly...if Chinese food processing and inspection can't be trusted to not poison their own children, they sure can't be trusted to ship safe food elsewhere.

                  Between that and the Smithfield deal, we may end up vegetarian before this all settles out.

                  1. re: sunshine842

                    Not moi, I'm a meatatarian. Just have to know what and who my sources are.

                    I hate buying any "microwave safe) dishware from China, too, since it all gets hot in there. Not to mention their undeclared lead problems in children's toys, why not dinnerware glazes?

                2. Anything so it can remain on the $1 menu is fine with the vast majority of customers. For those who have never eaten it, will never eat it, and have no impact on the bottom line, why should they care about your first world esthetics?

                  1. Important to note that this will apply to any processed chicken product, so even say a can of chicken broth, could come from China. A lot of chowhounds don't eat things like chicken nuggets, but a lot more will sometimes take a shortcut with a canned broth, or concentrated chicken stock paste. Avoiding these imported products altogether will require a lot of vigilance. And eating out? forget about it!

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: MelMM

                      And not everyone can afford organic chicken from the local farm.

                      1. re: youareabunny

                        You don't have to buy organic or local to get chicken you can otherwise trust, but that's a good point. And yet another reason to stay out of the food ailsles at Walmart.

                      2. re: MelMM

                        This goes way beyond chicken. The USDA’s rules require that only certain foods must be labeled with the country of origin. Anything considered processed as defined by the USDA doesn’t have to state where it’s from. Hotdogs, Spam, fish sticks, cured meats, etc. – all exempt from COOL label requirements since they are all obviously processed food. A bag of frozen peas from another country would have to state where the product is from, but a bag of frozen mixed peas and carrots or a mixed fruit cup are considered processed food, and are exempt from the labeling requirement.
                        http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/f...
                        http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2012/04...

                        1. re: EM23

                          Yup, that is my understanding of how it works as well, although I don't consider myself an expert on the subject of labeling laws by any means.

                          1. re: EM23

                            COOL is just a tool the US uses to justify import tariffs against other countries like Canada to the WTO and keep domestic prices high in the US to appease farmers. The EU does the same thing to the US over hormone beef,,, its just bs to keep prices high.

                          2. re: MelMM

                            Yes! MeIMM, you said it well. Chicken stock, chicken soup, other types of precooked chicken meals (there are other frozen chicken foods besides nuggets).
                            As for eating out, I must say that sometimes I shudder a little when eating at some restaurants as I wonder where they get their ingredients...

                          3. Question for those of you trying to avoid all foods from China. The article in the OP was just about processed chicken products, which had previously been allowed, and then were banned due to concerns about bird flu. But what is not addressed is that all along, all kinds of other foods, including fruits and vegetables, have been legal to import from China. So take garlic for example - I believe China is the world's largest producer, by a long shot, as as far as I know, there is no regulation against importing fresh or processed garlic into the US. And I don't think there is a labeling requirement for it. So let's say you buy a bottle of barbecue sauce, or hot sauce, or pasta sauce, that says it is made in the US. I think (and someone can correct me here if they know more about labeling laws), it could still have say, granulated garlic from China in it. And I don't think there is any way for you to know that, outside of calling the manufacturer of every product you buy, and even then, would they tell you? So to what extent can you really avoid foods made in China, whether you eat chicken nuggets or not, and even if you are a vegetarian?

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: MelMM

                              It's a good point. Whenever I see that something is from China (pine nuts are a frequent import that's usually labelled, but not always) I avoid it. But yes, as you describe it, it's not always possible.

                              1. re: kmanihot

                                The inferior, cheaper pine nuts from China/Russia/Vietnam give me pine mouth. Thankfully, I've finally found that Wegmans carries the Italian ones. A bit far to drive for just pine nuts, so I'll stock up and freeze some next time I go.

                                1. re: LindaWhit

                                  I've sometimes found some from Turkey that are good. I never had pine mouth, but I don't like the taste of the Chinese and Russian ones (plus, the concerns with contaminants etc).
                                  If I end up making it to my nearest Wegmans (about one hour away) I'll make sure to stock up on the good pinoli!

                            2. Whoa !

                              It's only good if it comes with melamine dip sauce.

                              1. I have a feeling we're talking about more than just nuggets here.