Russian agriculture officials have presented the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) with a shortlist of US processing plants approved to export poultry products to Russia.
The country has approved a total of 54 processing plants and 118 cold storage facilities. The country has also outlined the possibility of approving another 65 processing plants and 28 cold storage facilities.
However, Russian officials want assurances that all plants and facilities meet the required sanitary conditions before they can begin exporting poultry products.
Russia, which has traditionally been one of the largest importers of US chicken, suspended US imports 14 months ago because of what it described as unacceptable sanitary conditions within a number of US plants.The Russians failed 54 plants and 24 cold storage facilities.
The USDA has questioned several of the deficiencies mentioned by the Russian inspections, and the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service has the authority to verify the corrections.
The names and locations of the approved and conditionally approved plants are listed on the United States Poultry and Egg Export Council (USAPEEC)'s website.The list of approved plants does not become effective until 31 July 2003. Veterinary certificates can be signed up to this date, but all products must arrive in Russia by 31 August.