VIET NAM - The Vietnamese Department for Animal Health said it has not found any signs that chicken legs imported from the US are substandard, out-of-date or smuggled into Viet Nam under the form of temporary import for re-export.
Dam Xuan Thanh, deputy head of the department, said all US frozen poultry products imported into Viet Nam have clear origins, reported the Saigon Times.
The products are also certified by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for meeting food safety and hygiene standards.
The department recently sent a document to local media to clarify the quality of chicken imported from the US, to ease recent concerns that US frozen chicken products sold on the domestic market at low prices failed to meet food safety and hygiene requirements.
Mr Thanh noted that the department had guided animal health units at border gates to collect samples of imported chicken products, including nine samples of frozen US chicken, to test for the avian influenza virus and food safety but no abnormal signs were found with the samples except for only one sample.
Nearly 800 kilograms of chicken was destroyed due to salmonella bacteria infection, according to the department.
Mr Thanh noted that when the bird flu hit 13 states in the US last April, the department proposed the ministry suspend import of unprocessed poultry from farms reportedly affected by the avian flu in line with regulations of the World Health Organisation.
The ministry issued a document on April 27 suspending poultry imports from the US from May. However, the ministry has still allowed import of US poultry products from US areas free from the avian flu.
According to the department, more than 93,000 tons of frozen cattle and poultry was imported into Viet Nam in January-July, increasing 25 per cent compared to the same period last year. Of the total volume, chicken products imported from the US, mostly frozen legs, accounted for over 45,500 tons.ThePoultrySite News Desk
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