Kolkata: Wary of the quality of chicken sold in local markets following stray reports and rumors about sale of dead chicken after they are dressed and treated in ‘solution’, several households opted for mutton this Sunday, leading to a dip in chicken sales and an almost immediate price correction.
At New Market, the biggest chicken retail market in the city with daily sales in excess of 30,000 kg, price of both live and dressed chicken have been revised downward by Rs 10 on Monday.
While price of live chicken has gone down from Rs 120 per kg a week ago to Rs 100 now, price of dressed chicken has reduced from Rs 180 per kg to Rs 155-160. Prices could slide even further with Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) planning to deploy inspectors at the 46 municipal markets from Tuesday to check the chicken being sold.
The civic health department is also setting up 16 teams of food inspectors for as many boroughs. These teams will visit small eateries and roadside stalls selling chicken items to see if they have been treated with chemical.
“If anyone is guilty of serving poor quality chicken, we will file a case in municipal court and also involve Enforcement Branch to slap cases under the Indian Penal Code,” an official from the department said.
While traders welcome the drive at shops selling cooked chicken, they are afraid such an action in markets selling live chicken will only spook customers further. “As it is, chicken sales has dipped nearly 40% since last year,” said Ali. The quantum of chicken sold in New Market was 50,000 kg per day a year ago. Now it hovers around 30,000 kg.