News 374 views update:Oct 6, 2006

Russia detects Salmonella in US poultry shipment

The Veterinary and Phytosanitary Control Service of the Russian Republic detected Salmonella in consignments of broiler leg quarters consigned from three US plants. This finding will result in restrictions on exports of broiler parts.

What would be more newsworthy would be the observation that there was no Salmonella in consignments of poultry meat.
Zero tolerance
Despite the zero tolerance rule negotiated between the United States and the Russian Republic, imports have continued on the basis of benign indifference. Obviously processed raw poultry meat may be contaminated with Salmonella spp. The USDA- FSIS places an upper limit of 20% for recovery of Salmonella from carcasses after emerging from the chlorinated spin chiller. Demonstrating Salmonella on portions is therefore not unexpected.
More politics than science
It is evident that the action taken by the VPCS relates more to agro-politics than it does to science or food safety. The significant question is whether poultry meat produced and marketed in the Russian Republic is or is not free of Salmonella contamination. Production of broilers in Russia continues with double digit growth each successive year and domestic producers continually agitate for restriction on imports from the USA, Brazil and the EU.
Irrespective of the motivation, banning imports on the basis of the presence of paratyphoid Salmonella spp. is contrary to WTO rules and would prejudice Russia's application to attain WTO status, which was seriously compromised recently by the export ultimatum issued by agricultural minister German Gref.

Editor WorldPoultry

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