Chicken Processed In China Triggers U.s. Food Safety Protests

Read the report. Not an easy path to success Investing in a food franchise can also take substantially more start-up capital than other types of franchises, thanks to real-estate, equipment and supply costs, plus other expenses. Still, the initial investment can vary from as low as $34,500 to as high as $4 million, depending on the type of restaurant, the report said. While starting any type of franchise may be easier than launching an independent small business, franchising is not really an easy path to success, Stites said. Key mistakes to avoid The surveys finding that satisfaction is lower among food franchisees than other types of franchisees is not unusual, Stites said. The food sector is a little bit more complicated a business to run, he said, noting that its often very employee heavy, plus entails dealing with fluctuating food prices, the potential for food spoilage and other challenges. On top of that, youve got probably some of the slimmest profit margins of any business, he said. Franchisees without prior restaurant experience may be in for a rude awakening. In the food business, typically people are working 50, 60 hours a week. Theyre managing lots of teenagers or a first-entry-level-job type of employee, Stites said. If youve come out of the corporate world, maybe you had an executive assistant, maybe you had a team of people to help you do projects, you buy a food franchisechances are youre not going to do well. Satisfaction varies by company Another driver of satisfaction, or lack thereof: How the franchiser treats its franchisees.

The U.S. currently allows shrimp to be sent to China for processing, including breading, Theresa Eisenman, a Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. The U.S. last year imported $1.9 billion worth of seafood from China — far more than any other food product, according to Census Bureau data. Shrimp and prawns accounted for almost $70 million worth of the goods. Labor Intensive There will probably be some company that can see some niche market for chicken shipments from China to the U.S., Toby Moore, a spokesman for the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council based in Stone Mountain, Georgia, said in a phone interview. Processing chicken is a labor-intensive endeavor that cant be done solely by machines and the lower cost in China is the advantage, Chris Hurt, a professor of agricultural economics at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, said in a telephone interview. Those savings in labor costs can counterbalance the higher price tag to ship the end product, Hurt said. Food-safety advocates have been watching China closely this year as the U.S. government reviewed the purchase of Smithfield Foods Inc. (SFD) , the worlds largest hog and pork producer, by Hong Kong-based Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd. China does not have a food-safety system that allows for any level of top-down management like we have in the United States , Patricia Buck, director of outreach and education for the Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention in Raleigh, North Carolina , a non-profit food-safety advocate, said by phone.