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
What would be more newsworthy would be the observation that there was no
Salmonella in consignments of poultry meat.
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
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