Unhealthy chickens imported to South Africa from the US have raised worries regarding safety standards especially since they are not sold in major shopping outlets across the country, but are stocked at third tier supermarkets to target low-income earners.
This is based on a Sowetan Live report where Kevin Lovell, the chief executive of South African Poultry Associations revealed that the USA chickens are being sold where poor South Africans are most likely to go shopping.
Lovell as quoted, said: “You will find these products generally at third tier supermarkets, as they are aimed at lower-income groups.”
He disclosed that Shoprite Group unlike other major shopping outlets in South Africa, has a permit to directly import the products. Shoprite however, stated that it would only sell small quantities of the consignment in its Western Cape stores.
Commenting, Shoprite Group spokeswoman Sarita van Wyk said ‘Shoprite will receive a small quantity of pre-packaged frozen chicken leg quarters imported from the US towards the end of April.
This consignment represents less than 1% of the supermarket group’s frozen chicken sales and will be allocated to Shoprite supermarkets in the Western Cape only due to the low quantity.”
Meanwhile, Pick n Pay said they’re not selling the chickens. “All our fresh chicken is produced locally and we don’t import any chicken from the US, if we did, it would have to be labelled as such,” they stated.
Lovell further related that poultry producers decided on the quantity of chickens to be imported from the US despite their concerns about the poor safety standards of the products when compared to products imported from other countries.
He analogized that chicken products are not like motor cars imported. To him, the chickens were leftovers that were defrosted and repackaged.