When it comes to the food we eat, the importance of the consume-by-date should not be underestimated. Depending on the item on sale, going beyond the expiry date by a day or two may not always create too many problems but when the product in question happens to be 46 years old, the possible repercussions of eating it do not bear thinking about…

Police made raids on an underground Vietnamese smuggling group operating in China in May this year, it has been revealed. What they discovered were tons of 46-year-old chicken feet.

Although 46 years may not seem especially long in the grand scheme of things, when you consider that a significant percentage of those reading this article won’t have even been born when the chicken was slaughtered, it is scary to think that meat this old should be sold to and consumed by people today.

The chicken, which had been kept in cold storage long after its expiration date, had been treated with chemicals to make it appear fresh. The group responsible are thought to have used hydrogen peroxide to (ineffectually) kill any potentially harmful bacteria and also to add weight to the meat, turning 1 kilo of old meat into 1.5 kilos of ‘fresh’ meat, netting profits of US$2,674. The volume of meat confiscated by police is reported to exceed 22 tons.

If you’re brave enough, check out the video below which goes into detail about the latest chicken feet incident.

[ Read in Japanese ]