Chilean Chicken Recall Expands
The risk of illness from consuming this product is negligible
WASHINGTON, AUGUST 15, 2013 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has expanded the amount of product being recalled by the Chilean Ministry of Health. After official notification from the government of Chile of the positive result for dioxin, FSIS instructed importers to hold chicken products, which were presented for re-inspection. FSIS has determined that 343,637 lbs of chicken may be affected and 155,595 lbs is currently being held. Through effectiveness checks, FSIS has determined that 188,042 lbs was distributed to federal establishments for further processing, a distributor and retail locations in Florida, Georgia, New York, Pennsylvania and Puerto Rico.
The Chilean Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture oversees the recall activities and investigations in Chile. FSIS continues to verify through effectiveness checks that all receivers of affected product from the Chilean-initiated recall have been notified and have removed product from commerce. FSIS will take appropriate action if prohibited activity is found.
Information for Consumers
FSIS conducted an analysis of the Chilean test results and determined that the risk to consumers is negligible. FSIS continues to investigate distribution of the product and will take immediate action on new information.
Information for Industry
FSIS has reason to believe, based on information provided by the Chilean Ministry of Agriculture, that recent shipments of poultry from Chile contain dioxin, and, because they have been recalled, they are unfit for consumption. Therefore, all products produced at San Vicente establishment [Chilean establishment 0608] on the affected dates [May 30, 2013 and June 12, 2013] are considered adulterated and should be destroyed.
FSIS has issued this public notification to make the public aware of the situation. FSIS is not announcing a recall at this time because the establishment most directly associated with producing the adulterated product has recalled product, and USDA works with its counterparts to conduct effectiveness checks in the United States. In this case, the Chilean Ministry of Health initiated a recall of this product.
Dioxins are a group of compounds that form naturally during forest fires, as well as from industrial emissions and burning trash. They are incorporated into plants and are potentially eaten by animals where they become concentrated in animal fat. People are exposed to low levels of dioxins through their diet with lesser exposure from air and soil. At very high doses for a prolonged period, dioxins can have adverse health effects. FSIS has determined that exposure to dioxin in the product is low and does not pose a health threat.
FSIS works to ensure the safety of meat and poultry products, including food imported from foreign countries. FSIS maintains a robust inspection program that offers three tiers of protection. The exporting country must show that their food safety standards are equivalent to those established by the United States. Once equivalency is met, the exporting country must show on-going equivalence through self-reports and annual FSIS in-country audits. Finally, FSIS inspects imported product at port-of-entry prior to release to the U.S. commerce.