US tells Russia egg recall does not affect poultry
WASHINGTON Aug 27 (Reuters) - The Obama administration on Friday reassured Russia that its relaunched American chicken imports are safe and unaffected by the U.S. salmonella outbreak that has forced a recall of half a billion eggs.
The Food and Drug Administration letter was delivered to Russian authorities by the U.S. Department of Agriculture office in Moscow, said Sally Klusaritz, a spokeswoman with USDA's Foreign Agriculture Service.
The letter "provided information from FDA on the table egg recall," Klusaritz said. "It included assurances that U.S. broiler production is not involved in the (egg) recall."
Russia has signaled it may take action against imports of U.S. poultry unless it receives more assurance that the birds are not contaminated with salmonella, the head of consumer protection watchdog RosPotrebNadzor told RIA news agency. [ID:nLDE67O1VM]
The USA Poultry and Egg Export Council on Tuesday sent a similar reassuring message to Russia, saying the poultry meat and eggs are produced in separate facilities and could not cross-contaminate. [ID:nN24131972] But RosPotrebNadzor said that was insufficient.
The concerns sprung up in the wake of Moscow partially lifting a seven-month ban on U.S. poultry exports it had imposed because the chlorine disinfectant used on American poultry meat violated Russian food safety policy. U.S. producers shipping to Russia now use a different disinfectant.
FDA continues to investigate the root cause of the salmonella outbreak that led to a massive U.S. egg recall of 550 million eggs from two Iowa farms, Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farms of Iowa. On Thursday the agency said it found bacteria in chicken feed used at both egg operations. [ID:nN26193413] (Reporting by Alina Selyukh and Christopher Doering; editing by Jim Marshall)
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