STC Number - 252

Zero tolerance for salmonella in poultry and eggs

Maintained by: El Salvador
Raised by: United States of America
Supported by:
First date raised: June 2007 G/SPS/R/45, paras. 17-18
Dates subsequently raised: October 2007 (G/SPS/R/46, paras. 33-34 )
April 2008 (G/SPS/R/49, paras. 46-47)
Number of times subsequently raised: 2
Relevant documents: G/SPS/N/SLV/21
Products covered: 0207 Meat and edible offal, of the poultry of heading 01.05, fresh, chilled or frozen.; 0209 Pig fat, free of lean meat, and poultry fat, not rendered or otherwise extracted, fresh, chilled, frozen, salted, in brine, dried or smoked.; 0407 Birds' eggs, in shell, fresh, preserved or cooked.; 0408 Birds' eggs, not in shell, and egg yolks, fresh, dried, cooked by steaming or by boiling in water, moulded, frozen or otherwise preserved, whether or not containing added sugar or other sweetening matter.
Primary subject keyword: Food safety
Keywords: Food safety; Human health
Status: Not reported
Date reported as resolved:

Extracts from SPS Committee meeting summary reports

In June 2007, the United States raised concerns about El Salvador's zero tolerance for Salmonella in poultry and eggs, and the required certificate attestations. This requirement did not have a scientific justification, and also raised some concerns regarding national treatment. El Salvador had not as yet provided information requested by the United States regarding the prevalence of Salmonella in poultry and eggs in El Salvador, nor on domestic testing for Salmonella. Despite bilateral discussions of the problem, no resolution had been reached.
El Salvador stressed its willingness to continue to seek a resolution of this problem bilaterally. The United States was encouraged to submit their request and questions in writing, for consideration by the authorities.
In October 2007, the United States reported that El Salvador had agreed to visit the United States for discussions and site visits related to this measure. The United States looked forward to providing the Committee with a report from El Salvador's visit at a future meeting.
El Salvador clarified that the measure referred to a standard that El Salvador notified in 1999 as G/SPS/N/SLV/21. In the past year, El Salvador had held bilateral meetings with US technical experts and made progress in the sense that restrictions on certain products such as day-old chicks and fertile eggs had been lifted. El Salvador had extended the certification for those products that were free of Salmonella. There were no prohibitions on pre-cooked products because the heat de-activated the virus. El Salvador was willing to continue to meet with the technical exports in order to come up with solutions which would allow the two countries to have free-flowing trade.
In April 2008, the United States reported that following an inspection visit in February, the authorities of both countries were now working on the language for export certificates for poultry meat and table eggs. The draft documents had been provided to El Salvador, and the United States hoped that this issue would soon be resolved in accordance with the SPS Agreement and international standards.
El Salvador confirmed that consultations had taken place, with a positive outcome.