Russia has banned the import of chicken and pork from 30 U.S. facilities in the wake of a midsummer audit. Russia has not disclosed what, if anything, the audits uncovered, according to a concerned spokesman from the USA Poultry and Egg Export Council.
All of the banned poultry plants were major suppliers of U.S. poultry to Russia and are some of the most efficient facilities in the country, the export council said.
At least three of the poultry plants participate in a model U.S. Agriculture Department program to improve the efficiency of meat and poultry inspections and improve food safety, the council said.
The U.S. poultry industry has about 100 chicken plants and the loss of the 17 processing plants should not greatly disrupt business, said Paul Aho, an economist with the consulting firm Poultry Perspective.
“Russia banning us is not good news. But, it doesn’t really influence things too much. There are 100 plants or more and the others ones can send it to Russia,” said Aho.
Russia is the second largest export market for U.S. poultry. The USDA will re-inspect and approve the slaughterhouses on Russia’s behalf as soon as Russia shares the shortcomings of our little chicks and piggies.