On November 5, 2014, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (“USDA”) Food Safety and Inspection Service (“FSIS”) issued a constituent update approving four Chinese poultry processing plants’ ability to export cooked chicken into the United States. The USDA also announced the names of the four plants that have been approved:
- Shandong Delicate Food Company, Ltd.;
- Qingyun Ruifeng Food Company, Ltd.;
- Qingdao Nine-alliance Group Company, Ltd., Changguang Food Plant; and
- No. 2 Meat Product Processing Plant of Weifang Legang Food Company, Ltd. The approval allows these poultry processing plants to export fully cooked poultry to the United States as long as the poultry was slaughtered in countries that the FSIS has determined have an inspection system for poultry slaughter that is equivalent to the United States’ system.
It is still unclear whether United States companies will decide to import cooked poultry from these Chinese plants. If they do decide to import the products, the FSIS will re-inspect any Chinese-processed poultry at United States ports prior to allowing the poultry to enter the country and be sold to consumers. In addition, any poultry exported from China that is sold in the United States will be labeled as having been processed in China regardless of any additional processing or packaging that occurs in the United States.