U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on August 30 re-affirmed the equivalence of the food safety inspection system for processed poultry in China, which was originally established in 2006. This will enable the China to certify plants to export processed poultry product to the United States.
While China received approval to export processed poultry products to the United States, the raw poultry used for these products must originate in the United States or Canada. Currently, no companies in China are certified to export processed poultry to the United States.
FSIS is currently auditing China's slaughter inspection system. At this time, no chickens raised or slaughtered in China can be shipped to the United States.
FSIS utilizes a comprehensive, three-part system for both establishing initial equivalence and ensuring the ongoing equivalence of countries that export regulated products to the United States. A foreign country's inspection system must ensure that establishments preparing poultry products for import into the Unites States comply with requirements equivalent to those in the Poultry Products Inspection Act and in FSIS regulations. Once a country's inspection system is granted equivalence, FSIS conducts periodic verification reviews and audits of exporting establishments. In addition, products undergo re-inspection at U.S. ports of entry to check for proper certification, labeling, transportation damage and general condition. Selected shipments are subject to additional re-inspection procedures, including examinations for product defects and laboratory analyses, to detect harmful chemical residues or pathogen testing appropriate for the products. FSIS performs increased import re-inspection activities for countries that are beginning to export product to the United States.