Cooked poultry products such as frozen dinners, pot pies, nuggets, lunch meats and franks are on their way back to commissary shelves in South Korea, following a change in the country's embargo of poultry products from the U.S.
Customers will begin to see the cooked poultry items by Labor Day, according to officials with the Defense Commissary Agency. They placed orders with U.S. suppliers shortly after learning that the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued a revision July 13 to South Korea's embargo that allows heat-treated poultry and poultry products from the U.S.
The embargo has restricted the entry of poultry products into the country since December, after the U.S. announced the presence of avian influenza in live poultry flocks in Oregon and California, followed by outbreaks in other states.
Commissary officials have found alternate sources of uncooked poultry, which is still restricted by the embargo, to send to the stores in South Korea. The fresh, uncooked chicken and eggs are from local sources in South Korea, but prices are higher than they are in the U.S. In addition, commissaries began offering chicken from Australia this month, in the freezer section in tray packs.
In late January, DeCA announced that commissary customers in mainland Japan and Okinawa would continue to receive poultry products shipped from the U.S., as long as they didn't originate from the states where avian flu had been discovered.