Scots prepare for US inspections on red meat plants

Scotch beef could soon be exported to the US for the first time in 25 years if American food safety inspectors clear the product.

US officials will visit Scotland to inspect UK red meat plants over the next six months, to ensure they are in line with American practices.

Irish officials announced earlier this month that the country will be the first in the European Union to export beef to the US, with ABP confirming it has been in negotiations over supplying beef to the US foodservice and retail sectors.

Restrictions were imposed upon all EU countries exporting beef products in 1989, following concerns over BSE infecting the human food chain. The ban was officially lifted in November 2013.

Scottish Food Secretary Richard Lochhead announced the news today: “Scotch beef is recognised as a premium product around the globe and in demand all over the world – so it is unfortunate that so many Scots, and Americans with Scottish heritage living in the US, cannot get their teeth into a succulent Scotch steak.

“I am looking forward to Scotland hosting a formal audit mission from the US authorities in the first half of this year, which should enable the importation of Scotch beef to recommence.

“I’m also optimistic that this will help to pave the way for the resumption of imports of other iconic Scottish products, such as haggis and Scotch lamb.”

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