The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has conducted an audit of the certification system being implemented by the Philippines to find out whether local producers are ready to supply halal-certified frozen chicken.
The National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) said inspectors from the UAE Ministry of Environment and Water (MEW) audited the country’s certification system from July 1 to 4.
“The audit was done to determine whether we are capable of supplying the UAE of halal-certified frozen chicken,” said NMIS Executive Director Minda S. Manantan in a telephone interview.
The inspectors from UAE were briefed on the country’s system of Meat Inspection and Animal Health.
They also met the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) Secretary Mehol K. Sadain and the Islamic Dawah Council of the Philippines (IDCP).
The UAE team, together with the Bureau of Animal Industry, NMIS, NCMF and IDCP, inspected San Miguel Corp.’s dressing plant in Tiaong and Lucena in Quezon province.
Manantan said the Philippine government has to wait for the result of the audit and accreditation before local producers can start exporting frozen chicken to the UAE.
Currently, the Philippines exports only processed chicken to the Middle Eastern country.
The visit of the UAE team took place after it lifted a ban on importing poultry products from the Philippines last month.
In a report published in the Khaleej Times, UAE officials said the ban was lifted due to “positive reports” from the Office Internationale des Epizooties about the well-being of chicken grown in the Philippines.
The detection of avian influenza (AI) in a number of Asian countries prompted the UAE to imposed the ban on poultry products from the region in 2011.
The Philippines is one of the few countries in Asia which remains free from the dreaded AI virus.