New York City Now Enforcing Ban on Mystery Meat

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Those of you in the New York area may be happy to know that the state’s Division of Food Safety and Inspection has recently begun enforcing laws against selling a variety of foods from, shall we say, unregulated sources.

You may be less happy to know that this is a "recent" effort.

To be fair, inspectors have been enforcing these laws but have "stepped up" their efforts this year, confiscating 65 percent more food so far than they did all last year. Specifically, through September the state had seized 1.6 million pounds of unregulated food, up from only 976,076 pounds last year.

Among the seizures described in the article:

  • 50 pounds of unapproved chicken
  • 15 pounds of iguana meat
  • 12 beefy armadillos
  • 200 pounds of cow lungs
  • a large tub of bullfrogs
  • "singed chicken" that "appears cooked"
  • questionable turtles
  • smoked rodent meat!
  • some chimpanzees
  • go-ri-lla
  • mysterious fish paste
  • and some unidentified red meat.

You could probably tell at least by the time you got to "go-ri-lla" that I was doing my best to shoehorn that into "The 12 Days of Christmas."  I’ll keep working on it.

According to the AP, the seizures "cast a spotlight on the eating habits of this ethnically diverse city," which has a "widespread appetite" for "savory favorites relished in their native lands" that may turn out to be "potentially dangerous food."  I’m sure there is a French newspaper saying the same thing about American hot dogs, but this story was about New York. The AP picked on a couple of shop owners who surprisingly claimed not to know anything about any illegal items and that they did not speak English, and so did not understand, for example, the phrase "smoked rodent" on an inspection report.  "I don’t know what that is," said one, apparently in English.  "I don’t sell that here."

City health commissioners said they were hard at work and would "either clean them up or close them down."

Link: AP via Yahoo! News