USDA Releases Proposed Rule to Facilitate Cooked Chinese Chicken Imports
As part of a deal to resume U.S. Beef exports to China, the U.S. recently pledged that it would remove obstacles to importing cooked Chinese poultry meat. (See previous blog coverage here.) Currently, China is only eligible to export poultry products to the U.S. that have been processed from birds slaughtered in U.S. establishments or at slaughter facilities in other U.S.-eligible countries.
Today, USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) published a proposed rule (82 FR 27625) amending its inspection regulations to list China as eligible to export poultry products derived from birds slaughtered in that country to the U.S. Under the proposed rule, slaughtered poultry or poultry products processed in certified Chinese establishments would still need to comply with all other applicable U.S. requirements including those of USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service before entering the U.S., and all such products would be subject to re-inspection at U.S. ports of entry by FSIS inspectors. The Agency will be accepting comments through August 15, 2017.
The U.S. poultry industry is optimistic that this latest action by the USDA will set the stage for the restoration of U.S. broiler access to the lucrative Chinese market. U.S. chicken has been blocked by China since January 2015 when China issued a blanket ban on all U.S. poultry over issues related to avian influenza.