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June 29, 2013

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Tougher rules for live poultry trade

THE city yesterday issued newly revised standards on the trade of live poultry to better regulate the market after sales resumed on June 20 following a ban due to the H7N9 bird flu outbreak.

Live poultry wholesale markets will now need to close one day each week while designated retail outlets need to do likewise once every two weeks, according to the standards released by the Shanghai Quality and Technical Supervision Bureau.

The standards require market operators to clean and disinfect trade areas thoroughly. It also states that live poultry markets should not be near residential complexes nor downtown public areas with big crowds.

Both wholesale and retail markets need to establish a system, including the registration of suppliers, to track the origins of live birds before they are allowed to sell them, according to the standards. Breeding, wholesaling and retailing data should be input into the system and customers must be given a tracking number so they can do online searches about the poultry they purchase.

A daily sales and disinfection record is also required. There are also detailed hygiene requirements.

The standards pertain to chickens, pigeons and quails. Live ducks and geese remain banned.

A 56-year-old man in Shanghai died of H7N9 bird flu on Wednesday, bringing the city's death toll from the illness to 16, the Shanghai Health and Family Planning Commission said.

Officials have said the live poultry trade will gradually be phased out, but many residents still prefer live poultry as they think it is fresher and tastier. They also worry about the safety of chilled chicken.

Meanwhile, the bureau said it has revoked Shanghai Hewang Food Co Ltd's production license after a mutton roll sample was found containing about 95 percent duck meat, as exposed by an STV news report.

The bureau has also stepped up checks on a weekly sample testing basis of baby formula produced by local companies.


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