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Processed Poultry: Strict Checks Ordered

The nation's quality watchdog said yesterday that it would check processed poultry to ensure that none of birds come from regions affected by bird flu even as veterinary workers cull hundreds of thousands of fowls to curb the spread of the disease.


The inspections will cover 16 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions.


It will also check the quality of disinfectants used for combating bird flu, the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine of China said in a statement yesterday.


Regions where inspectors will fan out include areas that have been stricken by the fatal bird flu virus this year Qinghai, Inner Mongolia, Anhui, Hubei, Hunan and Liaoning and 10 others, including Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and Hebei.


The efforts are to help protect the health and restore the confidence of consumers, whose appetite for poultry has waned, according to experts.


Quality supervisors will check the food production permits of poultry product makers and impose tough penalties on firms that do not have them.


In particular, inspectors will look for proof of the makers especially those in the vicinity of an outbreak site to ensure that the birds have been certified by quarantine authorities, and no dead or sick chicken, ducks or geese were used, it said. Violators will be dealt with severely.


The inspectors will also see to it that no fake or shoddy disinfectants, such as bleaching powder, caustic soda or paretic acid, enter the market.


In the Chinese capital, the municipal health bureau said on Saturday that not a single case of human infection had been detected after major hospitals in Beijing checked about 850,000 people.


In its latest effort to prevent bird flu, the city shut down and disinfected an illegal pigeon fair in Beishatan on Saturday.


In northeast China's Liaoning Province, which reported its first case of fatal bird flu on November 3, the provincial office handling the disease gave the all clear in six suspected outbreaks on Saturday.


(China Daily November 14, 2005)

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