US To Allow Processed Poultry From China, Despite Bird Flu Fear

US - Poultry processed in China will be allowed to enter the United States, despite outbreaks of deadly bird flu in China, the U.S. administration said Thursday.

Critics said the imported poultry will put public health at risk. The U.S. Agriculture Department said the meat would be fully cooked and perfectly safe. "It will have been processed," said Richard Raymond, the department's undersecretary for food safety.

"Cooking will kill the virus, if there is any virus, in poultry meat."

The United States does not accept live poultry from countries where the virulent flu strain is present. That policy has not changed.

The poultry would be raised and slaughtered in the United States or other countries from which the United States accepts poultry. It would be fully cooked and packaged or canned in China. Imports will be allowed beginning May 24.

calendar icon 21 April 2006
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