Fresh chicken coming back to commissary shelves
September 21, 2006
YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Fresh chicken will be back on commissary shelves once the South Korean company that provides it passes “testing procedures,” U.S. Army medical officials confirmed Tuesday.
The company voluntarily pulled the poultry from U.S. Defense Commissary Agency stores in South Korea on July 25 when the U.S. Army’s 106th Medical Detachment (Veterinary Service) discovered higher-than-normal bacteria levels during routine testing.
“On further testing, it was found that the bacteria was not pathogenic but was a normal organism found on the surface of processed poultry products; only, in this case, a little higher than normal,” Col. Stanley Smith, detachment commander, responded to an e-mail query on Tuesday. “There have been no illnesses reported with this finding and there are no food-safety concerns.”
He said he expects the chicken back in the commissaries “very soon.”
Smith sent inspectors to the plant to work with quality-assurance and laboratory personnel, he stated in his e-mail, “and the study is still ongoing.”
His deputy, Capt. Shane Becker, explained late Tuesday afternoon that the 106th provided “corrective action” the company must take before the chicken hits the shelves again. Becker declined to elaborate on the action, stating only that the company must pass the procedures.
Becker also stated that the action had nothing to do with recent avian flu reports in South Korea.