The Department of Agriculture last week quietly released an audit report of China’s inspection system for poultry processing. The audit says China’s system is equivalent to U.S. systems and standards.
The Food Safety and Inspection Service performed the audit last year. USDA released the report one month after the comment period closed on a proposed rule that will allow China to not only process and package cooked chicken, but to export the chickens, ducks and turkeys it raises. Food Safety News reports that when USDA pulls the trigger on the new rule, the $30 billion American poultry market will be open to the world’s second-largest poultry producer.
However, the Center for Foodborne Illness Research & Prevention says the audit was not in-depth, and is opposed to allowing Chinese poultry in the U.S. CFI attributes its opposition to China’s “questionable food safety record and its lack of rigorous on-farm management practices.”