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South Africa announces new poultry guidelines

The South African government has announced new guidelines for the production and sale of poultry meat last week

The new amendments include major changes for producers of both fresh and frozen poultry meat. The limit on total brine injection allowed for whole carcasses has been increased to a maximum of 10 per cent, compared to a maximum of 8 per cent that was previously allowed. The total brine injection allowed for individual portions is now limited to a maximum of 15 per cent, as opposed to earlier when there was no upper limit prescribed. Also, the names of products must now include a true description of the added formulated solution, like ‘chicken with brine’ and ‘sweet and sour marinated chicken drumsticks’.

The Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries said in a statement that producers must regularly perform tests to ensure compliance with the new water uptake and injection limits. The statement also specifies that producers must keep records of compliance for at least one year after production.

“These amendments will be phased in over a period of six months to allow for producers to gradually adjust the levels of brine injection and to bring the labelling of these products in line with the new requirements,” said the statement.

The department said it remains committed to ensuring that these regulations are enforced, so that a high quality of poultry meat is maintained and so that consumers are enabled to make informed decisions about the poultry meat products they buy.

The amendments to the poultry meat regulations concerning control over sales were published in the Government Gazette after they had been approved by minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana.