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Chickens, Eggs, Lungs and Ducks

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An EWN investigation has come up with some rather worrying findings over the inspection process at a Corona, Queens wholesale poultry market. Some of the chickens and ducks being offered for sale and coming from the Aniqa Poultry Plant, could well make you sick, according to the findings. Lungs, eggs and even feces were discovered inside whole poultry on sale at the market. For obvious reasons there are very strict regulations governing the safety and inspection of poultry killed and sold for consumption.

The under- cover investigators were able to track the suspect chickens to the Aniqa plant through the identifying metallic tag that each bird must have on it. The tag is supposed to show that the bird you are buying has been inspected and approved as safe for eating by a federal USDA inspector.

The investigation team was looking particularly closely at ducks, as they had been given a tip off that no ducks had been inspected at the plant for months. When the USDA inspector at Aniqa was asked if he inspected ducks he answered in the affirmative. Internal documentation from the USDA however, showed that no ducks were inspected at the site, only chickens.

When the EWN team showed video footage they had taken to the previous USDA inspector at Aniqa he was horrified. (He had been inspector at the site for seven months and had left in July) Many were discolored and bruised. Some contained feces and lungs and even eggs. Though he is unable to speak on behalf of the USDA he made it very clear that he considered this poultry unfit to be sold, even hazardous.

Claiming that Aniqa had used Vincent Calabro’s photo and name in a newspaper ad, effectively implying his endorsement of the poultry, Ken Mollins (Calabro’s attorney) is now suing the company.

The owner of Aniqa is apparently unable to explain why there is no record of any ducks being killed or inspected on the site, or how they have made their way into shops for sale. This is in contrast to the inspector having told the investigating team that he inspected “ducks and chickens, mostly”. Aniqa’s owner can only say they are ‘looking into it’.

The owner also insisted that everything was always checked on the site (which appeared clean and well kept). When questioned about being interviewed and cited by the USDA last January for selling poultry that had not been inspected, he had no memory of this, even though his name was on documentation that had been obtained from the USDA.

The owner has indicated that ‘someone’ must be putting his company’s tags on the obviously unsafe birds. There is no way that the birds containing feces and eggs were from his company “Not ours” he says. The USDA says they have not received any official complaints about anyone interfering with the company’s tags. For now, the USDA’s food and inspection service is investigating the matter and are unable to comment any further.