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What's The Beef? Well Actually It's Pork

21 June 2007

SAPPORO — The president of a Hokkaido meat processing company said Wednesday that one of its plants shipped products made from minced beef and pork that was labeled only as ground beef.

CO-OP Beef Croquettes produced by Hokkaido Katokichi Co. are suspected of containing ground pork

Meat Hope Co. President Minoru Tanaka told reporters Wednesday night that he approved the mixing of minced pork with minced beef when the company exhausted its beef stock. The products were then labeled as ground beef, Tanaka said, adding, "We have to accept the blame for the deception."

The mixture was processed into "beef" croquettes and other products and distributed to food firms nationwide, including a subsidiary of major frozen food maker Katokichi Co.

Some media meanwhile reported that Meat Hope also used expired beef in the croquettes, but Katokichi could not confirm that allegation.

At a news conference Wednesday morning, Tanaka claimed there was a possibility the meat was mixed by mistake and Tomakomai-based Meat Hope was investigating.

Tanaka told the earlier briefing the company's plant that processed the meat uses only one machine to mince beef, pork and chicken, and that pork left in the machine may have been mixed with beef.

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Source: JapanTimes


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