WASHINGTON, JULY 27, 2013 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing a public notification of a recall being conducted by the Chilean Ministry of Health for chicken products. After official notification from the government of Chile of the positive result for dioxin, FSIS instructed importers to hold product, which was presented for re-inspection. FSIS has determined that 188,522 lbs of chicken may be affected and 126,082 lbs is currently being held. The agency is investigating the distribution of the remaining 62,440, lbs. and verifying if additional shipments are involved. FSIS may expand the public notification and will take necessary and appropriate action after analyzing updated information received from the government of Chile.
The Chilean Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture oversees the recall activities and investigations in Chile. FSIS is performing effectiveness checks in the United States by verifying that those companies who have received implicated product from the Chile-initiated recall have been notified and that all adulterated product is held and destroyed.
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 29, 2013 to 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 U.S. In this case, the Chilean Ministry of Health initiated a recall of this product.
Dioxins are a group of inorganic 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.