Flooded with Fowl: Unregulated Chicken Raises Concerns in Kashmir Markets

Flooded with Fowl: Unregulated Chicken Raises Concerns in Kashmir Markets

Srinagar: The unregulated import of dressed chicken into markets across J&K from other states has sparked concerns about the potential health risks to consumers.

According to the official data, approximately 30 percent of the market in J&K is now dominated by dressed chicken, with a staggering 90 percent of restaurants opting to serve this type of poultry.

With an estimated consumption of 1.50 crore dressed chicken in Kashmir annually, the lack of regulation in the import process has become a pressing public health issue.

According to the official data, the current method of importing dressed chicken into Kashmir lacks proper oversight and quality control measures.

“Unlike branded products, which typically include essential information such as the date of slaughter, method of slaughter, best before date, and storage temperature, dressed chicken arrives in the region without such labelling requirements,” they said.

The absence of crucial information raises questions about the freshness and safety of imported poultry. Additionally, there is ambiguity regarding whether the birds were slaughtered using approved methods, leading to concerns about the overall quality of the product.

Experts warn that the unchecked influx of dressed chicken poses a significant threat to consumer health, as the absence of proper quality checks could result in the sale of contaminated or spoiled products.

Deputy Commissioner, J&K Drug & Food Control Organisation, Shagufta Jalal told that steps had been taken to address the issue. She said that they had asked the dealers of dressed chicken to procure refrigerated vans and the process was going on. According to the sources, only one dealer has procured the van so far.

Highlighting previous action taken by the department, Jalal said that several quintals of dressed chicken were seized in Kashmir. “The storage conditions for these dressed chickens were found to be unhygienic,” she said.

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