Quarantines No Cause For Alarms, Poultry Brass Say

VIRGINIA - Amid reports that poultry from farms outside Virginia may have eaten tainted feed, state officials say that consumers in the Shenandoah Valley and elsewhere in the state have no cause for alarm.
calendar icon 14 May 2007
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Hobey Bauhan, president of the Virginia Poultry Federation, said poultry consumers in Virginia have little to fear from contamination. That’s because of the numerous steps that the industry takes to safeguard its product, Bauhan said.

"I think consumers can be confident in poultry’s wholesomeness and safety," he said. "The poultry supply in the U.S. is scrutinized very heavily."

Bauhan’s comments Friday came just over two weeks after a report from the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation addressed growing concerns over inspection of food imported to Virginia from other states.

Worries about imported foods came after several poultry and hog farms outside the state were quarantined due to the suspected consumption of contaminated pet food by livestock, the Farm Bureau report said.

On May 5, federal officials placed a hold on 20 million chickens raised for market in several states because the birds’ feed was mixed with pet food containing an industrial chemical. Officials for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Drug Administration and Environmental Protection Agency, which collaborated on the inspection, withheld names of the states involved pending completion of the investigation.

State Farm Bureau officials stressed the importance of consumers buying poultry and other agricultural goods in state, due to what they say is Virginia’s high food-safety standards.

"We believe that any commodity entering Virginia, and likewise the United States, needs to meet the same quality and safety standards as its domestic counterpart," said Tony Banks, assistant director of commodities and marketing for the Virginia Farm Bureau Federation. "We encourage consumers to purchase domestically produced goods, and especially locally grown foods."

Source: Dnronline

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