July 19, 2018

China Completes Paperwork for Poultry Export to U.S.

The USDA’s FSIS announced yesterday that China has completed the “necessary paperwork” to certify four of its poultry processing plants so they can export processed poultry products to the U.S. The raw poultry will have to come from “approved sources”, but food safety advocates are concerned.

Chinese cooked chickenWenonah Hauter, executive director of Food and Water Watch said in a statement, “China’s food safety system is a wreck. Food & Water Watch has been fighting FSIS on this issue since it first proposed granting China equivalency status in November 2005. There have been scores of food safety scandals in China, and the most recent ones have involved expired poultry products sold to U.S. fast food restaurants based in China. Now, we have FSIS moving forward to implement this ill-conceived decision, and it has not even audited the Chinese food safety system in over 20 months, in direct contradiction to what it promised it would do to protect U.S. consumers.”

The food safety scandals in China have ranged from companies adding melamine to milk to increase its nitrogen content and hide dilution, which sickened 300,000 babies; to plastic added to bubble tea; to pork blood pudding made with formaldehyde and industrial salt. And jerky pet treats imported from China into the U.S. have been linked to thousands of sickened and killed pets.

The FSIS announcement states that China is eligible to export poultry products that are fully cooked and not shelf-stable. Four poultry processing establishments that were audited in March 2013 are now “operating under requirements equivalent to those of the United States,” according to the notice. FSIS has accepted the export inspection certificate from China.

 

 

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