Food Safety Magazine

News | July 29, 2013

Chile Recalls Chicken Due to Dioxin Contamination

By Heidi Parsons


The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) on July 27 issued a public notification of a recall being conducted by the Chilean Ministry of Health for chicken products due to adulteration with dioxin. After the government of Chile notified FSIS of a positive result for dioxin, FSIS instructed importers to hold this product, although the agency also noted that the risk of illness from consuming this product is negligible.

FSIS has determined that 188,522 lbs of chicken may be affected; currently the agency is holding 126,082 lbs. FSIS officials are investigating the distribution of the remaining 62,440, lbs. and verifying whether additional shipments are involved. An FSIS news release said the agency may expand the public notification and will take "necessary and appropriate action" after analyzing updated information received from the Chilean government.

The Chilean Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture oversees the recall activities and investigations in Chile, according to the FSIS release. FSIS is performing effectiveness checks in the United States by verifying that companies that have received implicated product from the Chile-initiated recall have been notified and that all adulterated product is held and destroyed.

The FSIS release said that all products produced at the San Vicente establishment [Chilean establishment 0608] on the affected dates [May 29, 2013 to June 12, 2013] are considered adulterate and unfit for consumption, and thus they should be destroyed. However, FSIS has determined that exposure to dioxin in the product is low and does not pose a health threat.