USDA Releases Poultry for Processing

WASHINGTON - Testing confirms that meat from poultry fed rations supplemented with pet food scraps containing melamine and related compounds is safe for human consumption. Based on the validated test results, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will allow approximately 80,000 birds held on farms in Indiana to be released and approved for processing.
calendar icon 21 May 2007
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Testing of meat from poultry exposed to the feed in question confirms that melamine does not accumulate in birds and is eliminated by the body quickly. The testing also reinforces the conclusions of a human health risk assessment that there is a very low risk of illness from the consumption of meat from animals exposed to the feed in question. Poultry held on farms appear healthy, which will be confirmed upon the rigorous inspection that USDA's Food Safety Inspection Service conducts on all poultry during processing.

The risk assessment concludes that in the most extreme risk assessment scenario, when scientists assumed that all the solid food a person consumes in an entire day contained melamine and the melamine compound cyanuric acid at levels potentially present in the poultry meat, the potential exposure is about 250 times lower than the dose considered safe. Translated to consumption levels, this means that a person weighing 132 pounds would have to eat more than 800 pounds per day of chicken or other food containing melamine and its compounds to approach a level of consumption that would cause a health concern.

USDA and US Food and Drug Administration continue to conduct a full and comprehensive investigation. As additional information is confirmed, updates will be provided and decisions will be made using the best available science to protect the public's health.

For previous news on the melamine contamination storyline, click here.
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