Pilgrim's Pride Corporation has received formal approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to resume exporting chicken products to Russia, according to a company press release. The company said the USDA has approved exports to Russia from Pilgrim's processing facilities in Boaz, Ala., Russellville, Ala., and Dallas, Texas.
Russian officials signed a formal poultry agreement with the United States earlier this month outlining new processing requirements for domestic chicken that is to be exported to Russia. Earlier this year, Russia had banned all U.S. chicken that had been processed with chlorinated water. Under the new requirements approved last week, U.S. chicken companies can replace the chlorinated rinse with cetylpyridinium chloride, peroxyacetic acid or hydrogen peroxide. Pilgrim's plants in Boaz and Russellville were converted to peroxyacetic acid earlier this year.
The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has compiled a new approved list for Russia that was sent to the Russian government last Friday that is based on the Russian-approved list that was in effect December 31, 2009. As soon as companies appear on the new FSIS list, they are eligible to begin shipping to Russia immediately.
"We are pleased that the new agreement is in place and we look forward to resuming export shipments to Russia as soon as possible," said Don Jackson, Pilgrim's Pride president and chief executive. "Russia is an important export market for U.S. chicken and the re-opening of the borders will be a significant benefit to our company and industry."