FSIS: China’s poultry processing inspection equivalent to U.S.

ChickenNuggetsChina’s poultry processing food safety inspection system once again has been named as equivalent to that of the U.S., which clears the way for Chinese exporters to ship processed poultry products to the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) first designated China’s system as equivalent to the U.S. system in 2006. The designation only applies to processed poultry products (the raw poultry used in these processed products must come from the U.S. or Canada and the product must be fully cooked before export). China currently is not approved to ship raw poultry products to the U.S.

“As always, FSIS is fully committed to protecting the nation’s food supply and if China begins exporting processed chicken products to the United States, all food safety steps will be taken as if the products were processed in the United States,” FSIS stated in a frequently asked question section paired with the announcement.

As part of ensuring China’s system remains compliant, FSIS has noted that processed poultry products imported from China are subject to increased scrutiny at U.S. ports of entry, and the agency will conduct annual audits.

In order to export poultry products to the U.S., FSIS must determine that the country treats products in an equivalent manner to the U.S.’s Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA) and FSIS regulations. FSIS also conducts audits and reviews of exporters, according to an August 30 constituent update.

For the full FAQ on the equivalence as well as a timeline, visit FSIS’s website here.

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