International Egg and Poultry Review

US - By the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). This is a weekly report looking at international developments concerning the poultry industry. This week's report focuses on the poultry situation in Colombia.
calendar icon 12 March 2009
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Colombia’s Government Alleviates Procedures for Importing Mechanically Deboned Chicken Meat

The Institute for the Surveillance of Medicines and Food Products (INVIMA), which is responsible for the regulation of food safety standards for the Government of Colombia (GOC), negotiated and announced the implementation of an agreement with food processors to address the issue of Salmonella with imports of mechanically deboned chicken meat (MDM) and create a new procedure for importing MDM.

The agreement and new procedures were developed and implemented to help eliminate detentions and rejections of MDM shipments as a result of Salmonella findings. INVIMA had been operating under and enforcing the GOC’s zero tolerance policy on Salmonella prior to the new agreement, which resulted in the rejection and destruction of numerous US exports of MDM.

The new procedure is presently in effect, though it is unclear for how long and it is still subject to revisions by traders, importers, and INVIMA port agents. Under the new procedures, MDM processors are able to process the meat even if it has Salmonella providing the product is subjected to a cooking or heat treatment process thus ensuring the product is fit for human consumption. In addition to the agreement, the food processor, importer, processing plant representative and an INVIMA agent will sign a document called the Act of Commitment for the Use of Imported Raw MDM stating it will comply with a set of pre-determined import requirements.

According to reports, Colombian MDM importers have willingly accepted the new procedure, which allows them to nationalize and store product at their own facilities while awaiting Salmonella test results thus lowering port storage fees and making raw material readily available since any MDM with or without traces of Salmonella can be processed given the product is cooked. The new agreement has eliminated problems at the port; however it fails to address the underlying issue regarding Colombia’s Salmonella import standards. A permanent Salmonella policy consistent with international guidelines still needs to be developed by INVIMA and the Ministry of Social Protection. To see the requirements required of the meat processor under the Act of Commitment for the Use of Imported Raw MDM see USDA FAS GAIN Report CO9003 by clicking here.

Top Exports of US Mechanically Separated Chicken (MSC) by Volume by Destination (Percentage of Total US MSC Exports)
Note: DR = Dominican Republic.
Source: USDA FAS

Further Reading

- You can view the full report by clicking here.
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