Iran’s Latest Poultry Market Scam: Chicken Filled With ‘Blood Water’

Kayhan Life Staff

Some shops in Iran have reportedly been selling packaged fresh chicken containing a large amount of “blood water,” which increases the product’s weight without offering more meat.

Contrary to common belief, the pink liquid in packaged fresh chicken is not blood, but mostly water that was absorbed by the chicken during the chilling process. Hence the term “blood water.”

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Blood is removed from poultry during slaughter, and only a small amount remains in the muscle tissue.

In a Dec. 2 article titled “Selling Blood Water, a New Scam in the Poultry Market,” the Tehran-based Eghtesad-24 online newspaper said: “The sellers reportedly increase the volume of blood water by keeping the packaged chickens in cold rooms longer than they need to be or by allowing chickens to absorb much water in slaughterhouses before they are packaged.”

“Only after opening a packaged chicken, customers discover that it is full of blood water,” Eghtesad-24 added. “Each packaged chicken has a different amount of blood water.”

The Iranian government increased the official price of poultry to $1.62 per kilogram. However, most stores sell their poultry at around $1.92 per kilogram. A whole chicken is sold on average for $3.29 in supermarkets.

Producers and consumers are all unhappy about the official price increase of chicken. Producers argue that higher production costs force them to increase prices higher than the government guidelines, resulting in a significant drop in consumer demand.

According to union activists in the poultry industry, imported chicken feed is of low quality. It has low protein content and is stored in a moist environment, encouraging the growth of fungi, which break down pelleted feed into mush and spoil it.

Most Iranian chicken farms are in poor shape and need to upgrade their poultry housing system and advanced production technology. Production costs would have dropped by $0.27 per chicken if the government had helped upgrade poultry production.

The government has not only refused to support poultry producers, but has caused production costs to rise by eliminating the preferred foreign exchange rate for poultry farmers at a time when producers face massive economic and financial challenges. Some shoppers have reported that after paying 60,000 tomans a kilo ($1.63 at the market exchange rate), they discovered that the packaged chicken contained nearly one full cup of blood water.

“Each chicken holds a different amount of blood water at a slaughterhouse. Some packages contain as much as 150 grams of blood water,” Eghtesad-24 said, quoting a store owner. “If done deliberately, this practice can improve the profit margin, because blood water increases the weight of a packaged chicken sold in shops.”

The report added that each packaged chicken sold in shops holds between 40 to 80 grams of blood water, not a small amount considering the number of chickens sold in stores.

The Eghtesad-24 report included a study that showed that if, for instance, 20,000 chickens, each weighing one kilogram, are killed every day, the slaughterhouse’s daily income from blood water alone would be around $1,640, given that the price of each packaged chicken would include $0.082 in blood water.

The figure could even be higher. A slaughterhouse can generate $27,000 in revenue from blood water if it operates 25 days a month with a daily income of $1,640 in blood water.

Before the recent price hike, several officials denied reports of a chicken shortage, promising an orderly and timely production and distribution of poultry.

Mohsen Shiravand, the Deputy Agriculture Jihad Minister for Trade Development, recently announced the possibility of exporting chicken with zero tariffs, resulting in the country’s surplus poultry products.

Link to Kayhan.London/Persian


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