The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service is issuing a public notification of a recall being conducted by the Chilean Ministry of Health for chicken products. After receiving official notification from the government of Chile of the positive result for dioxin in the chicken products, the Food Safety and Inspection Service instructed importers to hold product, which was presented for re-inspection.

The Food Safety and Inspection Service has determined that 188,522 pounds of chicken may be affected and 126,082 pounds is currently being held. The agency is investigating the distribution of the remaining 62,440 pounds and verifying if additional shipments are involved. 

Based on the information provided by the Chilean government, the Food Safety and Inspection Service has reason to believe that recent shipments of poultry from Chile contain dioxin, and, because they have been recalled, they are unfit for consumption. Specifically, all products produced at San Vicente between May 29 and June 12 are considered adulterated and should be destroyed.

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The Food Safety and Inspection Service may expand the public notification and will take necessary and appropriate action after analyzing updated information received from the government of Chile. The Chilean Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture oversees the recall activities and investigations in Chile. Food Safety and Inspection Service is performing effectiveness checks in the U.S. by verifying that those companies that received implicated product from the Chile-initiated recall have been notified and that all adulterated product is held and destroyed.

Dioxins are a group of inorganic compounds that form naturally during forest fires, as well as from industrial emissions and burning trash. They are incorporated into plants and are potentially eaten by animals where they become concentrated in animal fat. People are exposed to low levels of dioxins through their diet with lesser exposure from air and soil. At very high doses for a prolonged period, dioxins can have adverse health effects. FSIS has determined that exposure to dioxin in the product is low and does not pose a health threat.