Lithuanian authorities have seized more than 40 tons of imported poultry meat due to potential Salmonella contamination in the space of three months.

From June to August of this year, the State Food and Veterinary Service (VMVT) banned the placing on the market of 10 batches of poultry meat imported to Lithuania from Poland, Hungary, and Romania.

More than half of the non-compliant meat (25 tons or seven batches) was imported from Poland. A total of 12 tons, or two lots, originated in Hungary and three tons, or one lot, came from Romania.

Year so far
All poultry products that reached Lithuania and contained Salmonella have been withdrawn from the market and destroyed. Some of it was detained in warehouses and did not enter the market. The companies involved received sanctions from VMVT inspectors for putting unsafe poultry on the market.

Lithuanian authorities stopped the supply of 100 tons of poultry meat in the first five months of 2020. Of 19 batches of possibly unsafe poultry analyzed in the first quarter of this year, 18 originated in Poland.

Three public warnings have been made recently by Polish authorities about Salmonella in poultry products and eggs. Earlier this month, the Polish Chief Sanitary Inspectorate (GIS) posted a recall of a brand of frozen marinated chicken fillets after Italian authorities found Salmonella Enteritidis, Salmonella Newport, and Salmonella Virchow in three batches.

Another recall was prompted by suspected Salmonella Enteritidis found on eggshells and in late August, Salmonella Enteritidis in a batch of chicken meat led to another warning.

EU-wide issue
In April, the Bulgarian Food Safety Authority found two shipments of more than 32,000 kilograms of frozen chicken legs from Poland contaminated with Salmonella. In May, the agency ordered the destruction of more than 19 tons of Polish poultry meat contaminated with Salmonella after a positive result from chilled chicken legs.

In Romania, two samples of frozen chicken breast fillets from Poland were found to be contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis in March and April. In total, 21 tons were officially detained before being destroyed.

A number of European countries issued nearly 100 warnings about Salmonella in chilled and frozen poultry from Poland from March to May this year.

Data from the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) portal shows alerts from Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia, Italy, France, and Romania. Listed serotypes include Enteritidis, Infantis, Typhimurium, Saintpaul, Derby, Newport, and Mbandaka.

In June, 15 alerts were issued concerning Salmonella in poultry meat products from Poland, although half of these were by that country. In July, there were 18 alerts with seven from Poland and in August, 12 notifications were made with a third by Poland.

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