A rising number of shrimp shipments from India are being refused entry in the United States due to the presence of salmonella, a harmful bacteria.
That country's sector regulator, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), refused 10 'entry lines' last month for this reason -- eight were from India.
"FDA has reported refusing 60 entry lines of shrimp for salmonella this year, of which the vast majority originate from India," said the Southern Shrimp Alliance (SSA), a US-based body of shrimp fishers and processors.
Salmonella poisoning is often linked to contaminated water or foods and can cause food-borne infection, called salmonellosis.
"The rejection speaks about the unhygienic condition of shrimp farming in India. Nevertheless, the number of rejections by the FDA is on the rise because India sends the highest number of containers to the US," said an exporter, seeking anonymity.
The FDA was recently allocated an additional $3.1 million in the coming financial year for inspection of imported seafood. This would raise its spending on these activities to $15 million in FY19, an increase of 26 per cent in the allocation. Trade sources said the body might get more aggressive in inspections, leading to more rejections of consignments.
The US imported seafood worth $2.3 billion last year, a rise of about a third over the earlier year. Frozen shrimp is 95 per cent of this.