China's poultry slaughter system has not been found equivalent to the U.S. system for poultry slaughter; therefore poultry slaughtered in China cannot be imported to the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). FSIS on November 10 issued a statement concerning the non-equivalence, after Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-NY, earlier expressed his worries about food safety because he thought the two systems were deemed equivalent by the FSIS.
"USDA has not found China's poultry slaughter system to be equivalent and therefore poultry slaughtered in China is not allowed to be imported to the United States. The U.S. food supply is among the safest in the world, and the Food Safety Inspection Service is dedicated to maintaining that status," the agency stated. "In December 2010, China requested FSIS to evaluate its poultry slaughter system and FSIS was legally obligated to move forward with an audit. FSIS has not released the results of this audit as it has not been finalized. If the audit reveals food safety issues with China's poultry slaughter system, then China will be required to take corrective actions and then be audited again in order for the process to continue."
While poultry slaughtered in China is not allowed into the United States, FSIS on August 30 reaffirmed the equivalence of the food safety inspection system for processed poultry in China, which was originally established in 2006. That decision enables China to certify plants to export processed poultry products into the United States. However, until the Chinese poultry slaughter system is deemed equivalent by FSIS, the raw poultry used for the processed poultry products must originate in either the United States or Canada.