The US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has expanded the amount of product being recalled by the Chilean Ministry of Health.
After official notification from the government of Chile of the positive result for dioxin, FSIS instructed importers to hold chicken products, which were presented for re-inspection. FSIS has determined that 343,637 lbs (155,871 kg) of chicken may be affected and 155,595 lbs (70, 576 kg) is currently being held.
Through effectiveness checks, FSIS has determined that 188,042 lbs (85,294 kg) was distributed to federal establishments for further processing, a distributor and retail locations in Florida, Georgia, New York, Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico.
The Chilean Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture is overseeing the recall activities and investigations in Chile, while the FSIS continues to verify through effectiveness checks that all receivers of affected product from the Chilean-initiated recall have been notified and have removed product from commerce.
The recall began when information provided by the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture to the FSIS said that recent shipments of poultry from Chile contain dioxin, and, because they have been recalled, they are unfit for consumption.
FSIS works to ensure the safety of meat and poultry products, including food imported from foreign countries. FSIS maintains a robust inspection program that offers three tiers of protection. The exporting country must show that their food safety standards are equivalent to those established by the United States. Once equivalency is met, the exporting country must show on-going equivalence through self-reports and annual FSIS in-country audits. Finally, FSIS inspects imported product at port-of-entry prior to release to the US commerce.