The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns the public that rat meat is being sold as chicken wings across the United States.
Customs officers seized a number of illegal containers with rat meat. This meat was intended to be sold as boneless chicken wings in all over America.
FDA raises the concern that there are 300,000 pounds of rat meat in circulation in the U.S. restaurants and grocery stores.
Rat Meat Might End up on This Sunday’s Super Bowl
Illegal rat meat, which was shipped from China, was seized at the Port of San Francisco, CA. This meat was aimed to be sold to several meat processing plants and, to be resold as chicken wings.
Although thousands of pounds of this rat meat were destroyed, the FDA claims that there still are 300,000 pounds of this meat in circulation and, that they might end up on the Super Bowl this Sunday.
Ronald Jones, an FDA inspector, reports that during the Super Bowl period the demand of chicken wings is at its highest point.
He says that there is a prohibition of an import and sale of rat meat in the United States, even though, when properly cooked, the intake of this meat is not particularly dangerous.
A study made by FDA concluded that 36 million pounds of counterfeit meat are illegally sold in the United States on an annual basis.
According to Allen James, an FBI coordinator, counterfeit meat is being sold almost every year, because this situation makes a great sum of money.
Mr. James claims that a similar issue occurred the past year when there were seized enormous amounts of opossum meat, shipped from Mexico.
He adds that the Super Bowl is a period which enables a big profit to be made, which is why the law is often broken during this period, either by gambling or by selling counterfeit meat.
The Difference between Rat and Chicken Meat Is Not Always Recognizable
The consumers of the chicken wings cannot be certain whether they are eating chicken or illegal counterfeit meat because the difference between the two can often be very difficult to be established.
According to Jenny Brook side, an FDA spokesperson, it is too late for the remaining rat meat to be destroyed since there are thousands of pounds of this meat already on the market, so it is up to the people themselves to identify the quality of the packaged meat.
However, the determination of the meat cannot be completely accurate. She states that the counterfeit meat has a slightly different taste from the chicken meat. Nevertheless, the variety of ingredients and spices that are added to it can successfully hide that difference.