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Russia Reverses Ban on Frozen Poultry Imports

by 5m Editor
24 December 2010, at 9:28am

RUSSIA - The authorities have reversed an earlier decision to ban the sale of frozen chicken, which was to have come into force on 1 January.

Russia's consumer rights watchdog will allow frozen chicken meat imports from the start of the year, after thinking again on the issue, its head Gennady Onishchenko said yesterday, 23 December.

RIA Novosti reports Mr Onishchenko as saying: "As for a total ban, we have postponed it for the foreign market, and we will continue increasing chilled meat turnover on the internal market.".

Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, said in October that Russia could do without poultry imports from 2011.

In November, Mr Onishchenko said poultry freezing was an outdated and crude technology, which led to a loss of many of the useful qualities of meat. He also praised the inert gas technology, which, he said, allowed storage of poultry for up to 120 days.

But the National Meat Association said at the time that a technology for chilling poultry in inert gas did not exist, while the intention to ban freezing raised the question of whether Russia intended to export meat, as it could not be exported chilled.

In his latest statement, Mr Onishchenko said that in negotiations with the EU Russia "had managed to win 400,000 tons in the deli segment." He has said that Russia will prohibit making deli food from frozen poultry.

RIA Novosti adds that US poultry has traditionally accounted for almost 80 per cent of chicken imports in Russia with this year's quota standing at 600,000 tons. But in January, Russia changed its hygiene requirements, prohibiting processing of poultry with chlorine with a higher concentration than in drinking water. The bulk of imports was banned because the chlorine concentration was higher than the new norms. Poultry supplies were renewed in September 2010.