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No substandard U.S. chicken legs found
Thuy Dung
Tuesday,  Aug 25, 2015,19:25 (GMT+7)

No substandard U.S. chicken legs found

Thuy Dung

By Thuy Dung - The Saigon Times Daily

HANOI - The Department for Animal Health said it has not found any signs that chicken legs imported from the U.S. are substandard, out-of-date or smuggled into Vietnam under the form of temporary import for re-export.

Dam Xuan Thanh, deputy head of the department, said all U.S. frozen poultry products imported into Vietnam have clear origin and are 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 U.S. to ease concerns that U.S. frozen chicken products sold on the domestic market at low prices failed to meet food safety and hygiene requirements.

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 U.S. 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.

Thanh noted that when the bird flu hit 13 states in the U.S. 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 Organization.

The ministry issued a document on April 27 suspending poultry imports from the U.S. from May. However, the ministry has still allowed import of U.S. poultry products from U.S. areas free from the avian flu.

According to the department, more than 93,000 tons of frozen cattle and poultry was imported into Vietnam in January-July, increasing 25% compared to the same period last year. Of the total volume, chicken products imported from the U.S., mostly frozen legs, accounted for over 45,500 tons.

Currently, 85% of U.S. chicken imports enter Vietnam via ports in HCMC and only 15% via Haiphong Port in the northern city of the same name. But animal health offices inspect all chicken imports via the ports.

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