US requirements on beef imports discussed

US import requirements for beef have become a focus for the UK meat industry. 

This comes after a meeting of industry bodies, headed by AHDB Beef & Lamb and which included Defra, the Food Standards Agency (FSA), Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture and Rural Development(DARD).

The group discussed beef safety controls with Dr Kenneth Petersen, senior vice president of quality and regulatory affairs for the OSI Group.

The meeting – organised by the UK Export Certification Partnership (UKECP) and Defra – focused on the control of STEC E-coli, and was aimed at ensuring processors in the UK are fully aware of the US requirements for this organism and the necessary controls.

Last year, a series of United States Department of Agriculture-style audits took place, organised by AHDB Beef & Lamb to help processors fully understand the level of detailed information required to help negotiate market access and gain approval for export of beef to the US in the future.

Dr Phil Hadley, AHDB Beef & Lamb head of global supply chain development, said: “The meeting with Dr Peterson was very productive. It illustrated again how AHDB Beef & Lamb, working in partnership with other key stakeholder organisations, is taking the lead on keeping the industry fully informed of all the key facts and developments.

“While we do not currently have access to the US for ruminant meat, it is imperative to fully understand the market and its regulatory requirements. By doing the groundwork now, it will help ensure our processors are fully prepared and in the strongest possible position for any inspection visit and to hit the ground running should market access be secured.”

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