US Cooked Poultry Returning to Commissaries in Korea

Shoppers at United States military commissaries in South Korea will begin to see cooked poultry products back on shelves by Labor Day.

On July 13, the US Department of Agriculture issued a revision to Korea’s embargo to allow heat-treated poultry and poultry products from the United States. Upon hearing the news, the Fort Lee, Virginia-headquartered Defense Commissary Agency (DeCA) quickly placed orders with its American suppliers to restock the shelves of commissaries in South Korea with cooked poultry products.

"Frozen dinners, pot pies, nuggets, lunch meats, franks, Lunchables and other popular cooked poultry products will begin to arrive by early September," said Wayne Walk, DeCA’s zone manager in Korea. "With school starting back up, this is great timing for parents packing lunches and for anyone looking for easy-to-prepare meals."

US-commissary-in-koreaA patron shops in the frozen food aisle at the Camp Carroll Commissary in South Korea, where frozen chicken dinners and other cooked poultry products will soon be back in stock.

South Korea’s embargo had restricted the entry of all poultry products into the country since last December when the US announced the presence of avian influenza in live poultry flocks in Oregon and California, followed by additional outbreaks in other states.

Uncooked poultry from the United States is still restricted by the embargo, but DeCA has alternate sources for such products to replace many of the items it previously received from American packers.

"We offer fresh, uncooked chicken and eggs from Korea," said Walk. "We have whole chickens, chicken breasts, boneless thighs and drumsticks. These products are not frozen and are ready to take home and cook immediately."

Commissaries also began offering value-added chicken items from Australia this month.

"Shoppers will find Steggles of Australia chicken in the freezer section in tray packs," said Walk. "Steggles is supplying our commissaries here in Korea with chicken products that have historically been popular with our shoppers – skinless, boneless breasts and thighs; tenderloins; wings and drumsticks."