April 27, 2021


Poland assures UK of efforts to protect Polish poultry following Salmonella outbreaks



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, Poland's Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, spoke remotely this past week with George Eustice, the United Kingdom's 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 minimise and eliminate the UK's concerns about the quality and safety of Polish poultry," he said."Poland is ready to cooperate with the UK on sequencing of the Salmonella genome in poultry products."


Puda told Eustice about measures Poland has implemented to ensure the high quality and safety of chicken products following Salmonella outbreaks from in the country.


The UK is Poland's second largest trading partner in agri-food trade. Currently, the entire poultry production chain in the country is under veterinary supervision.


Two strains of Salmonella enteritidis in frozen, raw and breaded chicken products from Poland have caused almost 500 illnesses since January 2020 and at least one death in the UK. The outbreak strains have been traced to two suppliers in Poland.


One of the strains had also affected people in Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland and Sweden since May 2018.


Eustice said there are no plans to introduce import restrictions on poultry meat from Poland. "We note a significant improvement in the situation regarding Salmonella infections in poultry products," he added.


In March, Victoria Prentis, parliamentary undersecretary 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.


"We do not consider it acceptable for the UK to be sent poultry products contaminated with Salmonella," she said.


- Food Safety News