A major US poultry producer has accused Russia of effectively locking chicken out of parts of the Russian market through its proposed ban on imports and sales of deep-frozen poultry.

Russia’s Chief Sanitary Inspector Gennady Onishchenko has proposed a new ban from 1 January as the country looks to prohibit the sale and processing of deep-frozen poultry meat – both domestic and imported.

The country is pursuing the ban as, Onishchenko said chicken meat loses a significant amount of its nutritional value when frozen, according to research conducted in Russa.

The US Agriculture Department attacked it as having “no scientific basis or food safety rationale”.

US chicken producer Sanderson Farms is now saying the ban is not feasible, and would damage trade both internationally and domestically. Its CFO Mike Cockrell told just-food that chilled poultry in Russia has a five-day shelf life, so the ban on frozen chicken would deny parts of Russia access to poultry.

“Russia is a very big country, and with a shelf life of only five days, chilled poultry wouldn’t be able to be shipped to its outer parts,” he said. “It’s just not feasible to ship domestically produced poultry all across Russia.”