WASHINGTON, Aug. 30, 2013- USDA’s Food Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) concluded an audit to verify that China’s food safety system governing poultry processing is equivalent to that of the United States.
FSIS conducted an audit in 2010 to reaffirm the equivalence status of the China’s processed poultry inspection system, but revealed several findings that needed corrective actions.
In its 2013 audit, FSIS auditors verified that China’s regulatory authority made the necessary corrections to its poultry processing inspection system needed for the U.S. to grant equivalency status.
“Because all outstanding issues have been resolved, the PRC [People’s Republic of China] may proceed with certifying a list of establishments eligible to export processed poultry products to the United States, as long as the raw poultry is sourced from countries that FSIS determined to have a poultry slaughter inspection system equivalent to the U.S. system,” states the FSIS report.
This 2013 audit involved the following equivalence components: Governn1ent Oversight; Statutory Authority and Food Safety Regulations; Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) Systems; and Microbiological Testing Programs.
However, Rep. Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., known for advocating food safety issues, raised objections to the report, claiming that business interests “are trumping the public interest.”
“The audit released today erases neither the fact that past inspections revealed unsanitary conditions at China’s poultry processing plants nor the fact that U.S. inspectors will not be onsite at these plants going forward to ensure the exported products are safe,” she said in a statement.
DeLauro also said she is concerned that USDA “appears” to be preparing to approve China’s slaughtering plants, “even as cases of bird flu deaths are reported out of that country.”
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