Officials in the Czech Republic have revealed poultry meat from Ukraine and Brazil has tested positive for Salmonella.

The State Veterinary Administration (SVS) has carried out more than 20 inspections as part of a control campaign aimed at shipments of poultry meat and eggs from countries outside the European Union.

In total, 21 inspections, 18 on poultry meat and three on eggs, have been undertaken since early April. A total of 43 samples were taken and results are available for 29 of them.

Samples of poultry meat from Ukraine, Brazil and the United Kingdom have been tested so far. As have some eggs from Ukraine.

Salmonella was confirmed four times in poultry meat, one from Ukraine and three from Brazil.

One case involves more than 5,000 kilograms (11,000 pounds), or 420 cartons, of Brazilian frozen chicken. A total of 165 cartons were seized in a warehouse. SVS has suspended further release of products to the market and already distributed items are being withdrawn. They were sent to restaurants and canteens.

Almost 3,500 kilograms (7,700 pounds) of frozen chicken from Ukraine has been identified. Products were intended for further treatment ahead of sale at JIP východočeská stores. SVS has banned the sale of semi-finished products and ordered a withdrawal.

Since April, Czech Republic has issued several Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) alerts for Salmonella. Two cover Salmonella Minnesota and Salmonella Heidelberg in frozen chicken breast fillets from Brazil and another mentions Salmonella Infantis in frozen chicken from Ukraine.  

Cereal controls
The Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority (SZPI) has been checking cereal-based products from countries including Ukraine in recent weeks.

More than 60 samples were taken for inspection and for the 25 with results, all evaluated parameters were satisfactory.

Inspectors took samples of wheat, spelt, corn, rye and barley, which were tested in a laboratory for the presence of certain pesticide residues, mycotoxins, heavy metals and other substances.

“SZPI is doing its utmost to protect domestic consumers, but at the same time, it is necessary to stress that the primary responsibility for safety and quality parameters of imported and domestic food lies with the operators concerned,” said Martin Klanica, SZPI director general.

The National Veterinary Sanitary and Food Safety Authority (ANSVSA) in Romania has also been doing controls on grain shipments from Ukraine.

Since Russia’s invasion, ANSVSA has carried out more than 9,700 checks on grain and non-animal products from Ukraine. Nine non-compliances were recorded including two for exceeding the maximum permitted limits for pesticide residues.

Because of the economic impact on local producers, imports of wheat, corn, rapeseed and sunflower seed originating in Ukraine to Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia have been stopped by new European regulation until early June.

(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News, click here.)