US Bone-in Beef Will Undergo Normal Entry Checks

TAIWAN - The first batch of US bone-in beef, which is expected to arrive in Taiwan in the next few days, will be checked in accordance with the inspection procedures for other imported foods.
calendar icon 24 November 2009
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According to China Daily, the Council Of Agriculture (COA), in collaboration with the customs authorities and the Bureau of Standards, Meteorology and Inspection, will check US bone-in beef products upon entry to ensure they are 100 per cent safe for local consumers.

Normally, samples of bovine brain tissue are used in tests to detect the presence of the abnormal prion protein associated with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or mad cow disease. However, BSE has never been detected in beef itself; therefore it has never been used to test for prion protein, said Hsu Tien-lai, director-general of the COA's Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine.

When the first batch of US bone-in beef arrives at Taiwan's ports of entry, it will be subjected to the same inspection and quarantine procedures as other imported foods, because it does not pose a BSE risk, he added.

The procedures will include random checks on the shipments to ensure that the products conform to the information on the certificates. Samples will be taken for laboratory testing mainly to determine the microbiological condition of the beef and whether it contains any drugs, Mr Tien-lai added.

The joint inspections will take approximately every one or two hours. The drug tests will take one to two days and the microbiological examination about three to four days, he said. Only after all the procedures have been completed in about four to seven days, would the bone-in beef products go on sale in Taiwan, he stressed.

Taiwan lifted a ban on US bone-in beef, as well as on offal and ground beef from cattle younger than 30 months, on 2 November.

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