Frozen Chinese poultry that was smuggled into the United States was found in a Detroit-area warehouse through a series of raids over the past month. Michigan health officials have been trying to trace its source.
According to official reports there is no sign that the frozen poultry, some even packed with entrails intact, had been contaminated with the deadly avian influenza virus.
AdvertisementState officials, however has said that no testing for bird flu had been carried out by the federal food safety regulators as yet.The officials have claimed that the poultry appears to have been imported in New York or New Jersey.
State officials have said that at least 2,000 pounds of illegally imported food was seized in late June and early July. Troy, Michigan-based Tinway Corp.is said to be the food wholesaler at the center of the probe who could face criminal or civil charges.
United States does not generally import poultry meat from Asia because processing plants there have not been cleared by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. State officials have stated that the frozen Chinese poultry has raised alarm mainly because they have come from areas already affected by bird flu.
According to state officials USDA investigators first raided the Troy, Michigan warehouse in early June. However state regulators were aware of the investigation only by June 20 following a tip off.
Local health officials have been especially angered by the piecemeal nature of the disclosure, saying that they were kept in the dark about a potential health threat.
George Miller, chief health officer for Oakland County said, "This is very frustrating to say the least. I think we have got to have better coordination between the feds and the state and local governments."