Poultry in the News in 2004:

last update: 22-12-2004

Harmful Poultry Bacterium May Survive Refrigeration and Frozen Storage Combined

A common cause of foodborne disease from poultry products can survive refrigeration and freezing say researchers from Pennsylvania. Their findings appear in the December 2004 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Campylobacter bacteria are estimated to be responsible for 2.5 million cases of infection in the United States each year and 50% of those cases are attributed to contaminated poultry. Campylobacters are believed to achieve optimal growth in extremely warm temperatures while failing to thrive in temperatures below 86 degrees. Campylobacter jejuni appears to be the exception. Previous studies have shown a small portion able to withstand refrigeration and freezing independently, but the combined effect of both has yet to be tested.

In the study samples of ground chicken and chicken skin infected with C. jejuni were refrigerated, frozen or exposed to a combination of both. A significant portion of the bacteria were able to survive refrigerated and frozen temperatures in both ground chicken and chicken skin.

"A significant portion of C. jejuni on the poultry samples studied survived during refrigerated, frozen, and combined refrigerated and frozen storage," say the researchers. "The present study indicates that these treatments alone will not add a significant margin of safety with respect to this pathogen and cannot replace sanitary production and handling."

last update: 16-11-2004

World Poultry Exports Expected to Increase 7.2% in 2005; Brazil Maintains Lead


Brazil is the emerging leader in broiler meat exports, surpassing the United States in the 2004 and 2005 forecasts. However, Asian markets will determine long-term growth in broiler meat production and consumption.  In 2003 and 2004, high pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) outbreaks disrupted production and exports in Asia, Netherlands, Canada and the United States.  Although HPAI outbreaks have limited world broiler meat exports, other economic factors such as exchange rates, energy prices, and feed production are influencing broiler meat production of leading suppliers. 


In 2004, cooked poultry meat production significantly grew as Asian suppliers adjusted to bans placed on uncooked poultry meat due to avian influenza (AI) outbreaks.  Increased demand from consuming countries and increased interest from supplying countries wishing to mitigate market risk from AI-related bans will influence cooked poultry production and trade.  In late 2003 and 2004, demand shifts for cooked broiler meat in Japan and the EU resulted from import-bans due to AI.  Both China and Thailand shifted a considerable amount of exports from uncooked to cooked poultry to reduce export market loss due to HPAI outbreaks.  Despite these efforts, Brazil largely benefited from its competitors’ loss of exports in key markets.


Line chart showing monthly chicken leg quarter prices (cents/pound), January 2002-October 2004. Weekly prices are charted for October 2004.


Bar chart showing shifts in selected major broiler meat market shares among competitors. Major meat markets shown are Russia, China, and Japan, with competitors from Brazil, China, U.S., Thailand, and other, which includes Argentina and Canada. Market shares are based on 2003-2004 January-June import statistics as reported by Russia, China, and Japan.


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last update: 22-09-2004

Sweden beats salmonella

The country with the lowest occurrence of salmonella in the world said this week it has aroused "great interest" in the US for its methods to control this harmful pathogen.

The Salmonella bacteria is a major problem in most countries across the globe and can be carried in eggs, poultry and other meats, raw milk and chocolate.

The Swedish way to fight salmonella in poultry was recently introduced at an American food safety conference, arranged by International Association for Food Protection. Representatives from the US Department of Agriculture have been in Sweden to study the methods in detail.

"Sweden has practically managed to eliminate salmonella from its chicken breeding. Now, we want to find out how we in the US can use parts of the Swedish method to prevent salmonella" said Stan Bailey at USDA, reports the Øresund Food Network.

In North America today, salmonella can be found in 10- 35 per cent of the chickens. So far, efforts to fight salmonella have been concentrated on latter parts of the production chain, using heating and radiation, continues the report.

The Swedish method attempts to make ‘a polluted product clean’, the control points are moved backwards in the production chain, including the egg production site, as well as strong focus on hygiene related matters.

The global incidence of foodborne disease such as salmonella is difficult to estimate, but it has been reported that in 2000 alone 2.1 million people died from diarrhoeal diseases, or which a great proportion were linked to food contamination and drinking water.

In industrializsed countries, the percentage of people suffering from foodborne diseases each year has been reported to be up to 30 per cent and in the US, for example, around 76 million cases of foodborne diseases, resulting in 325,000 hospitalisations and 5,000 deaths, are estimated to occur each year.

While most foodborne diseases are sporadic and often not reported, foodborne disease outbreaks may take on massive proportions. In 1994, an outbreak of salmonellosis due to contaminated ice cream occurred in the USA, affecting an estimated 224,000 persons.

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Partnership will market novel antibacterial agent for poultry processing

Tasker Capital Corp. announced it has entered into a partnership with Wynn Starr Specialty Flavors LLC to market a novel disinfecting product to the poultry processing industry.

The deal involves the use of Tasker's licensed, patented, FDA approved active ingredient. Wynn Starr develops products and food processing technologies for the foodservice and processed food industries.

"Our initial analyses have indicated that Tasker's licensed technology is highly effective in significantly inhibiting pathogenic bacteria in an efficient and expeditious manner," says Steve Zavagli, Wynn Starr chairman and CEO.
"We quickly recognized the applications of this technology for poultry processing and intend to vigorously market it directly to our existing client base and industry contacts, worldwide," he says.

The current process for preparing poultry for packaging and delivery requires the use of scalding tanks and chill water tanks in which the poultry are immersed. Because existing sanitizing products evaporate and stop working at high temperatures, no sanitizing agent is used during the scalding process. The tanks can become breeding grounds for cross contamination, Tasker says.

Under the current process, sanitation begins when poultry are immersed in the chill liquid tank.

Tasker's product is able to endure high temperatures, so it can be used in the scalding tank as a sanitizing agent, eliminating a substantial amount of bacteria in the initial process.

The company conducted a study at the University of Georgia to determine the technology's effectiveness as a disinfectant for the poultry processing industry with "extremely encouraging" results, they say.

The studies indicated material reductions in and/or elimination of salmonella typhimurium, listeria monocytogenes, staphylococcus aureus, E coli, shewanella putrefaciens and pseudomonas fluorescens.

last update: 28-07-2004

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McDonald’s introduced its new Chicken Selects premium breast strips to its core menu at participating McDonald’s restaurants nationwide starting Tuesday, July 27. Chicken Selects provides another great-tasting option for customers craving a premium-quality chicken meal. Supporting the new chicken strips are advertising rolling out August 10 and in-restaurant merchandising and packaging featuring 2004 U.S. Olympic athletes, including tennis superstar Serena Williams and soccer champion Mia Hamm.

McDonald’s new Chicken Selects are made with premium-quality, 100 percent white chicken breast meat, seasoned and lightly breaded so they are crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside. Premium chicken breast strips are served with a choice of Tangy Low-fat Honey Mustard, Spicy Buffalo, or Creamy Ranch dipping sauces. Customers can choose from a three-, five, or 10-piece size.

“As a long-time sponsor of the Olympic Movement, we are thrilled to be launching our new premium Chicken Selects, as the country sends its premium athletes to the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games,” Mike Roberts, CEO of McDonald’s USA, said. “McDonald’s is one of the largest sellers of chicken within the industry. And the new Chicken Selects match our customers’ demand for quality food choices that can be a part of an active, on-the-go lifestyle.”

Industry and consumer trends show that consumption of white-meat chicken is increasing and McDonald’s continues to monitor customers’ preferences and create new menu offerings most relevant to them. The USDA estimates that domestic chicken consumption will grow from nearly 73 pounds per person to 93 pounds per person by 2005.

To help launch Chicken Selects, McDonald’s will be giving consumers a chance to sample the new product at six national events across the country from July through August. The kick-off event was held during the AVP Tour in Hermosa Beach, CA on July 23. Beach volleyball Olympians participated in launch activities, and Chicken Selects was also featured at a NBC made-for-television concert with popular music group, Smash Mouth.

Additional Chicken Selects sampling tour stops include: July 24, Reventon Super Estrella in Anaheim, California; July 30–August 1, Rocky Mountain State Games in Colorado Springs, Colorado; August 6-8, Brickyard 400 in Indianapolis, Indiana; August 13, New York, New York; and August 15, Unity Day in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The new Chicken Selects have received a positive response in test before being offered nationwide starting July 27. In fact, blind taste tests revealed McDonald’s Chicken Selects was preferred over competitors with consumers, indicating a strong repurchase intent.


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Russia suspends poultry imports from Sweden, Finland

Russia has suspended the imports of all poultry products from Sweden and Finland, which have not been subjected to thermal treatment, the federal veterinary and fitosanitary supervision service told Itar-Tass.

The ban followed "the outbreaks of the Exotic Newcastle disease /pseudo fowl plague/ on the territory of these countries," the veterinary service said.

Exotic Newcastle disease is not dangerous to people, but it may pose a certain threat to poultry-breeding. The ban just introduced applies to live birds, eggs and meat that have not undergone heat treatment. According to the veterinary service, Russia will lift the ban as soon as Swedish and Finnish authorities eliminate the consequences of the Exotic Newcastle disease outbreaks and provide guarantees for the safety of the poultry they export. The veterinary service said the measure was unlikely to seriously affect the Russian poultry market, because imports from Scandinavian countries were relatively small.

The new resolution upheld the ban on imports of live birds and poultry from Sweden that was introduced last November. The ban on poultry imports from Finland is introduced for the first time


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SPCA seizes 200 birds from Farm

Houston's SPCA seized about 200 neglected birds from a Montgomery County poultry farm today.

Montgomery County authorities first learned about the birds when someone filed a complaint about the stench on July 8. Investigators arrived at the farm to find pens filled with starving and parched turkeys, chickens, guineas, possibly some geese and
one duck.

With a warrant finally in hand this morning, the SPCA swooped down on the farm and began rounding up the surviving birds, but
many were dead.

As the investigation continues, an SPCA vet will check the birds out at a shelter.

Outbreak of Contagious Poultry Disease in Finland

An outbreak of the highly contagious Newcastle disease(ND) has been found in turkeys at a poultry farm in Luvia on the west coast (finland, red.). All of the farm's turkeys have been destroyed.

A ten kilometre quarantine zone has been set up around the farm, in which all transportation of poultry is restricted, says the Ministry of Agriculture. The source of the outbreak at the farm, just ten kilometres south of Pori, is not yet clear. After cattle slaughtering and production facilities at the farm have been disinfected, an inspection to determine whether the disease has been eradicated will be made in three weeks time.

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Government compensation will be given to the farm.

Newcastle disease was discovered in turkeys after blood tests carried out during routine health checks. The birds did not have the respiratory, digestive or nervous symptoms usually associated with the disease. Humans or other mammals are not affected, but it can kill almost all young birds. ND is classified in the same category as foot and mouth disease. Affecting poultry, aviary birds and wildfowl , ND last appeared in Finland in 1996 in the University of Oulu aviary. The most recent case of ND at a Finnish poultry farm dates from 1971. The virus is preserved well in the environment and spreads from one farm to another through birds, feed and people. In Europe, the last serious ND epidemic occured in 2002 spreading as far north as Denmark. All EU nations except for Finland, Sweden and Denmark vaccinate poultry against the disease.


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Consumers 'conned over chicken'

Caterers are continuing to con consumers by serving chicken containing large amounts of water, pork and beef.
An investigation by the Food Standards Agency has found thousands of tonnes of chicken are still being "bulked up" to make them look bigger than they are.

While the practice is not illegal, misleading or inaccurate labels are. It also raises the prospect that some people who do not eat beef or pork for religious reasons are eating it inadvertently. In addition, it suggests consumers are paying too much for chicken that is being marketed as 'fillet' or 'breast' when it is not.

The findings come 15 months after the FSA first reported that caterers were selling "bulked-up" chicken.


As part of a follow up exercise, Hull Trading Standards officials examined 25 samples of chicken taken from wholesalers and one manufacturing site across the UK. The chicken had been processed in either one UK plant or plants in Belgium or Holland.

"What is even more unacceptable is the total disregard as to how offensive this is to Muslim communities who may be eating food which is forbidden by their religious beliefs" - David Statham, FSA

They found that 15 of these samples claimed to contain more chicken meat than they actually had. Twelve samples contained 'non-chicken' DNA, such as pork or beef. Eleven of these were wrongly labelled as Halal and suitable for Muslims. Eighteen of the 25 samples were described as chicken breast or fillet when they were not. Only chicken with no added ingredients should be described in this way.

The FSA said it had passed its findings onto trading standards officers, who will consider whether to take legal action against the firms involved. It said it was determined to bring what it called a "consumer con" to an end. "We know that in some cases consumers are not always getting what they pay for and the Food Standards Agency is determined to stamp this out," said David Statham, its director of enforcement. "What is even more unacceptable is the total disregard as to how offensive this is to Muslim communities who may be eating food which is forbidden by their religious beliefs."

Steve Butterworth, of the Trading Standards Institute, said: "These matters are of concern to everyone who eats chicken. "Consumers are being misled by other meat proteins being put into these products."

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Drug-pumped poultry fuels human risk

The Government has ignored warnings that antibiotics fed to chickens pose a major risk to human health.

Government reports obtained by the Sunday Star-Times reveal that as far back as 1999, an expert panel warned that antibiotics used in the poultry industry were breeding superbugs resistant to human medicine.

The 1999 report warned drugs used to prevent disease in chickens could create resistance to front-line human medication crucial for treating respiratory infections such as pneumonia, sexually transmitted diseases and the hospital superbug MRSA.

Yet antibiotic use on animals has dramatically increased. In 2002, 108 tonnes of antibiotics was fed to factory-farmed animals, a 34 per cent increase on 2000. More than four tonnes of one antibiotic, Tylosin, was fed to poultry.

Otago microbiologist Greg Cook called the Tylosin use "inexcusable" and said the drugs should be used only to treat disease in animals, not to prevent it.

Cook's research shows Tylosin use could be responsible for continued high rates of Vancomycin resistant bacteria (VRE) found in half the country's chickens. Vancomycin is the drug of last resort against deadly hospital superbug MRSA.

Cook found the VRE could be transferred to humans and, if it crossed with MRSA, would create an untreatable superbug.

The antibiotic blamed for creating the VRE was withdrawn from animal use in 2000, but Cook said the prevalence of Vancomycin resistance would not drop until Tylosin use was halted. "We know the damn (bacteria) are there. The first thing they should be doing is stopping Tylosin (use)."

Cook has stopped his research due to lack of funding and said he has all but given up. "I don't know what to do. It's a lost cause," he said.

Green MP Sue Kedgley criticised the government's lack of research into the problem despite a statement by the 1999 expert panel that a comprehensive surveillance programme was vital. "Their response has been pitiful and irresponsible," she said.

Kedgley said using antibiotics on animals undermined national efforts to reduce human antibiotic use.

Pharmac runs an annual campaign to discourage antibiotic use in humans and says reported prescriptions by GPs have dropped 17 per cent, from 2.99 million in June 2000, to 2.54m in June 2003.

Pharmac and the Ministry of Health would not quantify the amount of antibiotics used in hospitals and homes across New Zealand.

Debbie Morris, from government agency the New Zealand Food Safety Authority, defended the regulations on animal antibiotics and said the amount used did "not equate to an increased potential risk (to humans)".

Any resistant bacteria was killed when cooked and people should cook their food properly, she said.

She said the NZFSA had been working through the recommendations of the 1999 report and a new expert panel's report was expected within 12 months.


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European Union eases ban on Chinese food imports over health worries

European Union nations agreed this week to ease import restrictions imposed on Chinese food two years ago because of health concerns.

However, the EU's head office said it was maintaining a ban on poultry products because of the outbreak of bird flu in Asia.

The changes will allow China to resume sales of shrimp, farmed fish, honey and rabbit meat to the 25-country bloc in recognition of "significant improvements" in Chinese veterinary standards.

In January 2002, the EU banned all imports of animal products from China after finding residues of veterinary medicines in food. The EU already relaxed the ban for some products last year after improvements in Chinese controls.

"China has put in place a range of corrective measures which were verified by inspectors from the EU's Food and Veterinary Office," said a statement from the European Commission.

It said the Chinese would test all consignments of food for export and to issue sanitary certificates only for those in conformity with EU requirements.

The EU said it has never allowed imports of pork, beef and dairy products from China because of foot and mouth disease and other animal ailments prevalent there.

candaian press


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Salmonella Outbreak

The State Department of Health reports nearly 40 cases of salmonella poisoning are being reported across west-central PA (USA). Nearly two dozen of those cases are from Cambria, Bedford, and Blair Counties (in pennsylvania).

Sheetz stores are working with the State Department of Health for a possible link (also see next article). Right now, Sheetz says a strain of salmonella may have been present in a food product sold at Sheetz stores. Chairman, Steve Sheetz says, "While we do not have final confirmation on the source at this time, we continue to take steps to ensure the safety of all products sold in our stores."

Salmonella is a food borne illness and right health officials are looking for the source. This type of strain is normally found in produce.

Here are the local hospitals and the cases they are treating.

UPMC Bedford Memorial Hospital is treating 10 case Nason Hospital in Roaring Spring treated less than 5 cases UPMC Lee Regional Hospital in Johnstown treated 5 cases Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center treated 4 cases. 24 Cases in Allegheny, Westmoreland, Beaver, Butler Counties

These numbers are expected to rise over the next couple of days. Sheetz customers are being asked to call 1-800-765-4686 for more information.

Group "D" Salmonella

The strain of salmonella affecting over 40 pennsylvanians is known as "Javiana," or "group D." This is the 5th most commmon strain. Salmonella is transfered by raw or undercooked beef, chicken or eggs. The Javiana strain is found mostly in cheese and watermelon.

Consumers can't keep from getting food poisoning by thoroughly cooking their food, washing hands frequently, and washing utensils and cutting boards when using them for different foods.

Researchers hatch green chickens

In a twist on Dr. Seuss's "Green Eggs and Ham," Korean researchers have hatched chickens that glow fluorescent green. The fowl were part of a project to create a two-legged cost-effective means of producing medicine.

Researchers at Catholic University of Daegu School of Medicine spearheaded the work in collaboration with Konkuk University, National Livestock Research Institute and Research Center for Transgenic Cloned Pigs and Chungbuk National University.

Green fluorescent protein was injected into eggs that hatched into chickens that had a green hue to various body parts - the first time transgenic poultry has been produced. Transgenation involves alteration of genes.

"The injected protein are a form of physiologically active fluids that are ingredients for medicines that are often too expensive and inaccessible for patients," said Dr. Kim Teoan at Catholic University of Daegu School of Medicine who led the research.

The next stage is to have the green chickens lay eggs which would be packed with the protein, and then harvest the protein from the eggs. Given the short incubation period of chickens - 21 days - a steady, cheap supply of the protein could be produced, according to the scientists.

"Eggs carry only eight different types of protein, making it easier to extract a specific type," Kim explained. As for the color of the protein, the researchers said the greenish hue makes it easier to detect. According to Kim, out of the 129 eggs his lab team injected, 13 chicks hatched, all exhibiting green fluorescent protein.

Funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology and the Livestock Research Institute, the green chicken has appeared in the July issue of "Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications" and is scheduled for next month's issue of "Molecular Reproduction and Development."
By Kim Ji-hyun

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Salmonella infection at church picnic

A recent picnic at a Durham church left 55 people sick and 10 of them with a salmonella infection. It happened June 26 at Peace Missionary Baptist Church. Nearly 250 people attended the event and nearly a quarter of them got sick after eating a batch of baked beans.

Public health officials said the picnic was catered by someone who was not permitted or inspected. They said it's a lesson learned for everyone to make sure the caterer is legitimate. Brian Letourneau, Durham Public Health Director, said it's important to find legit caterers. “That they operate legally, follow good food sanitation procedures. We will be happy to assist people in identifying who's permitted and who's not permitted by just giving our office a call.”

Public health officials are talking with the county and may take legal action against the illegal caterer.
Copyright ©2004 TWEAN Newschannel of Raleigh, L.L.C. dba News 14 Carolina
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Salmonella alert issued

Consumers are being warned that chicken nuggets or strips bought in the freezer section of grocery stores aren't always pre-cooked, even though they look that way. The B.C. Centre for Disease Control issued the warning earlier this month after finding a link between salmonella infections and eating raw or undercooked chicken nuggets and strips.

A quarter of the salmonella cases studied by the centre and Health Canada occurred in children under five years old.

The study found consumer confusion may be contributing to the risk of infection. One third of people surveyed thought the products were pre-cooked when in fact, they are actually made from raw chicken

Warning issued about children getting salmonella from chicks

Oregon and Washington health officials are monitoring an uptick in children sickened by salmonella after contact with chickens. So far this year, health authorities in the two states have taken 16 reports of children contracting the gastrointestinal disease from poultry.

Most commonly, children play with chicks, then put their unwashed hands in their mouths or food, catching the disease from bacteria shed in bird feces.

Donn Moyer, a spokesman for the Washington State Department of Health, told the Salem Statesman-Journal that children can keep chicks, but must remember to wash their hands.

The suspect birds were traced to a hatchery near Walla Walla, Wash., state officials said.

In Oregon, five cases of children with salmonella were reported shortly after Easter, when many family include chicks in holiday baskets. Six additional cases of Oregon children apparently catching the disease from chicks since have been reported, state officials said. The cases were reported in Washington, Multnomah, Clackamas and Umatilla counties. Washington authorities know of five instances this year of children catching salmonella from chicks.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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A chicken has been visiting a Chick-fil-A fast-food chicken restaurant in Bluffton, South Carolina, according to an article in the Carolina Morning News newspaper. Restaurant employees named the chicken “Little Truett” after the chain's founder S. Truett Cathy. They feed it bread and biscuits, but not chicken. It wouldn't be right to feed the rooster his own kind, manager Carlton Beall said. A Bluffton resident said he saw the rooster crossing a highway the day before the bird was spotted near the restaurant. The rooster may be a lost college mascot. (The University of South Carolina’s mascot is a gamecock.)

Brazil poultry exports post record $248m in June

Brazilian poultry exports in June registered their best performance ever, both in terms of volumes and in revenue, the Brazilian Poultry Exporters Association (Abef) said Tuesday. According to Abef, Brazil shipped 238,270 tonnes, up 53% on June 2003. In dollars, exports reached $248 million, up 85% against the same month last year. From January to June, Brazilian poultry exports added up to 1.131 million tonnes, up 21.6% compared to the same period last year. In dollars, exports totaled $1.221 billion, a 56% increase on the first half of 2003.

Abef also pointed out that the highlight in the first half was processed poultry, which accounted for $47 million in exports, or nearly 21,000 tonnes. The association estimates the sector to end 2004 with a 5% to 7% increase in exported volume, and with a 10% to 15% rise in dollar revenue.


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Four years locked in a poultry coop, the next 20 tied to a bed

The story of a boy that was brought up as a chicken.

The people who care for Sujit Kumar call him a boy, even though he is 32. The Fijian has never learned to speak and is only just learning to behave like a human. The reason, they claim, is that he spent his childhood locked in a chicken coop. Psychologists and a team of American behavioural scientists have been examining Kumar and his bizarre background which, if true, is one of the most tragic cases of child abuse in Fiji.
One of those looking after Kumar is Elizabeth Clayton, widow of New Zealand mountain climber Roger Buick, who died on Everest in 1998. She says that when she first met Kumar he pecked at his food and would crouch down as if roosting. His fingers turn inward from scratching around in the dirt, he communicates by making a rapid clicking noise with his tongue and he seems detached from much that goes on around him.

Clayton found Kumar in an old people's home in the Fijian capital Suva. He had been tied to his bed for 20 years after being found in the middle of the road one night and taken to the home by welfare officers. She has been piecing together his past and says that when his mother committed suicide and then his father was murdered, Kumar fell into the care of his grandfather in rural Nausori outside Suva. The grandfather locked the six-year-old in a chicken coop, where he lived for years.

When he arrived at the Samabula Old People's Home he was aggressive and the staff tied him to his bed. There he remained until Clayton heard of his plight. He still lives in the old people's home but is no longer tied up. He has a 'caretaker' - a Fijian man named Drauna Matavesi - and goes to school daily in a room in a factory in suburban Suva. 'For 30 years he hasn't been doing anything. He didn't know how to stand or walk,' said Matavesi.

Jenny Forsyth, the Observer

Poultry Smuggling Has Reduced

THE Poultry Association of Zambia (PAZ) has said smuggling of poultry products into the country from neighbouring countries has reduced in the last few months since the formation of an anti-smuggling task force.

PAZ vice chairman Christopher Kasonde said in an interview that though more efforts were needed to further reduce the scourge, the reduction rate in cases of illegal poultry products was remarkable.

" We have seen fewer and fewer illegal products coming into the country," he said.

An anti-smuggling task force involving the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), Zambia National Farmers Union (ZNFU) and PAZ was set up early this year to try and halt the smuggling of poultry products mainly from Zimbabwe.

Kasonde said the consumption of chickens in Zambia was far below other countries because most of the ingredients for feeding chicks such as Soya cake were imported.

He said if more farmers were sensitized and encouraged to adopt techniques such as agro forestry, the prices for poultry products like chickens would significantly come down.

Kasonde said the high cost of production has been hindering Zambia's export potential because most producers of poultry products in other countries were subsidized.

"Cheaper methods of crop production such as agro forestry are important because if maize can be produced at much lower costs, stock feed would be less expensive and more people would consequently be able to access chickens," he said. "In addition, exports could also increase."

The Post (Lusaka)

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State banks are bracing for another round of bird flu, even as they try to work through a backlog in financial assistance for poultry farmers devastated by the previous outbreak.

Goanpot Asvinvichit, president and CEO of the Government Savings Bank (GSB), said a financial package is already in place to help new cases.

Recent reports suggest that bird flu has re-emerged in centralprovinces. Nearly 40 million chickens were culled during the bird-flu crisis early this year.

However, few GSB customers had suffered from that outbreak, Goanpot said.

The bank offered financial support in the form of Bt400,000 in interest rate subsidies to some 500 small chicken-meat traders who were hit by the earlier bird-flu epidemic, a bank official said.

However, processing of the earlier cases got bogged down by unreliable information as well as slowness in verification by the Livestock Development Department as to who had been badly affected, the official said.

Procedures to evaluate new investment in chicken farming was also time-consuming, he said.

The Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand has extended Bt51.6 million in rehabilitation loans to 10 chicken farmers and Bt21.2 million in loans to butchers, while 45 applicants are waiting for financial facilities worth Bt276.5 million.

The Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) has approved financial support worth Bt20.7 million for 59 farmers who asked for rehabilitation assistance. Some of them will shift to a new business.

The BAAC also lent Bt67.6 million to 404 chicken farmers to clean up and renovate their operations.

Financial assistance has been subdued partly because many of the farmers were contracted to large firms that had their own relief programmes, officials said.

The government earlier assigned three banks to help poultry farmers and they agreed to lend up to Bt20 billion for the assistance scheme at interest rates as low as 2 per cent.

Wichit Chaitrong

The Nation

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Brazil approves BAX(R) System as Official Reference Method to Detect Salmonella

The BAX® system, a genetics-based diagnostic tool developed by DuPont Qualicon, has been approved by the Ministry of Agriculture in Brazil as an Official Reference Method to detect Salmonella in food, water and environmental samples.

An evaluation conducted by the Ministry on over 1,800 samples in five laboratories concluded that the BAX® system was equivalent to the traditional culture method that has been used by the government for the last 40 years.

"This validation is an important step by the Ministry of Agriculture, showing its new vision toward modernization of the Brazilian Food Safety System," stated Josinete Barros de Freitas, coordinator of the Food Microbiology Department, CLA-MAPA.

According to Madasa do Brasil, DuPont Qualicon's local distributor who supported the validation process, "This achievement makes the BAX® system the first and only rapid detection method to obtain Official Reference Method status in Brazil. It also marks the first time the government has announced an Official Reference Method by brand name."

"The BAX® system has set the standard for rapid method pathogen testing in Brazil," said Kevin Huttman, president of DuPont Qualicon. "We're delighted to be part of this historic event, where the government has approved not genetics-based technology in general but the BAX® system specifically as the Official Reference Method for Salmonella testing."

Salmonella is a serious, sometimes fatal, food pathogen often found in poultry. Although thorough cooking will kill the bacteria, cross- contamination can occur through contaminated utensils and hands. An estimated 11,000 cases of salmonellosis are reported annually in Brazil, where poultry is the largest agribusiness sector of the country's animal protein production. In 2003, Brazil produced 7.87 million metric tons of poultry, with exports of more than 1.92 million metric tons.

The food regulatory agency for the state of Sao Paulo, along with some of the country's top food companies, began using the BAX® system last year to detect Salmonella. As an Official Reference Method, the BAX® system can now be used throughout Brazil to help ensure the safety of the country's food supply and protect the future of its exports.

The DNA-based BAX® system detects target bacteria in raw ingredients, finished food products and environmental samples. In addition to Salmonella, assays are also available for detecting E. coli O157:H7, Enterobacter sakazakii, Listeria and L. monocytogenes. The automated system is user- friendly and fits easily onto a laboratory bench top. Available since November 2000, hundreds of BAX® systems are already in use by governments, food companies and laboratories around the world.

BAX® and RiboPrinter® are registered trademarks of Qualicon, Inc., a DuPont business.

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Iran Ranks 16th Poultry Producing Country In World

TEHRAN July 4 (MNA) -— Bohlul Naseri, head of the Egg Producers’ association, said here Sunday that 235,000 tons of the country’s necessary animal protein are provided by poultry industry products.

Naseri told the Mehr News Agency that Iran’s poultry industry has a yearly production of 1b chicks, 1.2m tons of chicken and 0.8m tons of eggs, adding that the industry has created 450,000 direct and indirect job opportunities in the country.

He said the fixed capitals are over 20,000b rials and 14,000b rials.

Naseri added that the anomalous increase and consumption of poultry husbandries, traditional production, lack of access to essential vaccines, poor management and lack of consolidated institutions are some of the problems hindering the development of the poultry industry.


Poultry Plant Subject of Terror Probe

news 11 alive

Mar-Jac Poultry Inc. in Gainesville, Ga., is at the center of what federal officials call the nation's largest investigation into the financing of terrorism.

Government officials allege that more than $12 million went from a northern Virginia charities foundation connected to Mar-Jac to a secret bank account held by a supporter of Osama bin Laden.

Defense attorneys for Mar-Jac on Wednesday denied the allegation and claimed the investigation to be a witch hunt.

One of the defense attorneys, former Assistant U.S. Attorney Buddy Parker, said the owners of Mar-Jac, Iraqis and Pakistanis who are now American citizens, are being unfairly targeted and that their 20-year business could suffer because of it.

"This is not one's best marketing plan, I can assure you that," Parker said.

Parker said the owners gave millions of dollars to various charities and detailed for the government where that money went.

"Had there been any improper contributions to charity, one would have thought after two-and-a-half years the government could have figured that out," Parker said.

Federal officials countered that following a money trail takes time.

"This idea that they're trying to peel an onion, that's crap. I'm trying to tell you we gave them all the evidence before 9/11," Parker said. "I'm telling you there is no evidence to support a terrorism investigation."

Parker said Mar-Jac's clients have been faithful customers so far and that it's unconstitutional for the government to make serious public accusations without giving the company a day in court to prove its innocence.

The business provides 1,100 jobs to the area and ships to the entire southeast. 

June 29th 2004

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Thai Poultry Farmers In New Dilemma

THAILAND - Thailand's poultry farmers affected by last December's outbreak of bird flu are now facing another obstacle. Chicken breeders in Chainat province have refused to distribute hens to small-scale poultry farmers who run a mixed poultry-fish farm, saying catfish were a possible cause of the bird flu outbreak.

Under the contract farming system, chicken breeders give hens to poultry farmers for free and get chicks and eggs in return. But now these breeders are refusing to hand out the hens to farmers for fear that they may die from the virus.

The Office of Agriculture Economics yesterday expressed concern over this misunderstanding.

The OAE said the breeders' refusal to hand out the hens to farmers, who built their chicken coops over fish ponds, would seriously affect the farmers.

The OAE called on the Fisheries and Livestock departments to urgently inform the people there was no risk operating such mixed farm practices.

Integrated poultry farming, where poultry are raised over fish ponds, is a common practice among small-scale poultry farmers with less than 5,000 chickens.

Poultry farmers set up their chicken coops over a five-rai fish pond into which about 100,000 catfish are released. The fish feed on the chicken droppings.

Such farming method helps create additional income for poultry farmers, who can earn more than 100,000 baht a year from selling catfish.

Fisheries department chief Sidhi Boonyaratpalin, insisted that scientific research had proven that the H5N1 strain of bird flu could not jump from fowl to fish or vice versa.

He said since bird flu was wiped out from the country early this year, the department had constantly sampled fish to test for signs of infectious diseases. The results have been completely negative. Mr Sidhi said he would order provincial fisheries officers to explain the matter to confused farmers and chicken breeders that there was no risk.

Source: eFeedLink - 29th June 2004

EU to extend Thai poultry ban until end year
Reuters AlertNet - London,England,UK
BRUSSELS, July 1 - The European Union looks set to extend its
ban on Thai poultry imports until the end of the year as Asia cleans up
after the bird ...

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Tyson Foods "outperform"

Analysts at Wachovia Securities reiterate their "outperform" rating on Tyson Foods, Inc. In a research note published last Thursday, the analysts mention that Tyson Foods has established a leading market position in the chicken and beef segments. Wachovia Securities expects the lifting of the export bans on the U.S. poultry products by the end of this year to offset the risks of a decline in the company’s margins in FY05.

Pilgrim's Pride receives FDA warning on Georgia feed mill

Pilgrim's Pride Corp., the nation's second-largest poultry producer, received a warning letter from the Food and Drug Administration detailing problems at one of the firm's feed mills in Canton, Ga. The letter, dated April 28 and posted June 23 on the FDA Web site, said agency inspectors found "significant deviations" from federal regulations involving medicated feeds during a plant inspection earlier this year. The letter said equipment used in the production and distribution of feeds wasn't properly cleaned to avoid "unsafe contamination," and that drug records weren't properly maintained, among other things.

USDA Signs MOU to Enhance Meat Safety in the Americas

USDA entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Pan American Health Organization to establish ways to improve the safety of meat and poultry products that are traded among the nations of the Western Hemisphere. The MOU, which binds the signatories to a set of goals, was signed by USDA Under Secretary for Food Safety Dr. Elsa Murano and Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Director Dr. Mirta Roses Periago. PAHO is a regional office of the World Health Organiza tion (WHO) that works to improve the health and living standards of the countrie s of the Americas.


Groups of U.S. agricultural producers seeking assistance under the Trade Adjustment Assistance for Farmers (TAA) program for fiscal year 2005 may submit their requests tothe Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) starting August 16, 2004, through January 31, 2005. Under the TAA program, USDA provides technical assistance and cash benefits to eligible farmers and fishermen whose crops or catch have been adversely affected by imports of like or directly competitive commodities.

Chick-related salmonella cases rise

They’re fuzzy, cute and often loaded with harmful bacteria. Baby chickens need to be handled with care, Oregon and Washington health authorities warn. They say they have noticed an upswing in children becoming sick from salmonella contracted from poultry. This year, health authorities in the two states have taken 16 reports of children contracting the gastrointestinal disease from chicks. Children play with the chicks and put their unwashed hands in their mouths or food, catching the disease from bacteria shed in bird feces. “The real key is this is preventable. We’re not telling kids not to handle chicks,” said Donn Moyer, a spokesman for the Washington State Department of Health. Keep the birds, he said, but remember that hand washing is essential.

Certified slaughterhouse opens its doors

The only certified poultry slaughterhouse in Alabama opened its doors to the public last week. The Rocky Ridge Organic Meats facility is the only facility with a full-time inspector on hand. Under state law, every piece of meat and poultry intended for stores or markets must be individually inspected. At Rocky Ridge, they are the only ones to offer this service to farmers. The owner says it will help them sell their chickens.

Electric Aquagenics' Electrolysis Machines to Be Marketed to Poultry Processing Plants to Fight E. coli, Salmonella

Electric Aquagenics Unlimited, Inc., an innovator in developing products using water electrolysis that disinfect, sanitize and clean surfaces and foods, all without toxicity to the consumer or the environment, announced that it has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with Covenant Water Systems, LLC (CWS), Gainesville, GA, for the marketing of EAU products to the poultry industry.

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