Chicken flu outbreak scares UK importers

Officials from Poland and the United Kingdom have met virtually to discuss the safety of Polish poultry meat after it was linked to several outbreaks.

Grzegorz Puda, Polish minister of Agriculture and Forestry, spoke remotely this past week with George Eustice, secretary of state for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Puda said he had taken direct charge of the issue of Salmonella in Polish poultry meat.

“Despite the difficult pandemic situation, Poland will take all measures to minimize and eliminate the UK’s concerns about the quality and safety of Polish poultry,” he said.

Great Britain is Poland’s second largest trading partner in agri-food trade. Currently the entire poultry production chain in the country is under veterinary supervision.

Eustice said there are no plans to introduce import restrictions on poultry meat from Poland.

In March, Victoria Prentis, parliamentary under secretary of state at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), said the agency was keeping the possibility of introducing import restrictions under review whilst in contact with the European Commission, Polish authorities and suppliers to resolve the issue.

After illness was linked to Polish chicken, the UK’s Chief Veterinary Officer Christine Middlemiss called for action in a letter to her Polish counterpart in December 2020.

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