Meat Recall Leads to Russian Ban

Meat Recall Leads to Russian Ban

Russia has banned meat from Kansas after Tyson recalled ground beef.

On Wednesday, Tyson Fresh Meats in Emporia, Kan. recalled 131,300 pounds of ground beef products that potentially were contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 and could be linked to an outbreak of illness.

Apparently following the recall Russia has banned imports of beef produced in the state of Kansas.

The Russian news agency Interfax has reported that Gennady Onishchenko, the head of Russian consumer watchdog Rospotrebnadzor, said, "In order to prevent the product coming to the Russian market, we introduced a ban."

At the same time Russian news agency ITAR-TASS reported that while stricter controls over meat products imported from the U.S. were being imposed by Rospotrebnadzor in the wake of the recall, no specific products had been banned.

"We've seen the media reports regarding statements from Russia, but we have not received confirmation, so we're not in a position to comment at this time," said Tyson spokesman Worth Sparkman.

According to the USDA, about 60 tons of ground beef, which was produced on Aug. 23 this year, possibly, contains E. coli O157:H7. Several cases of poisoning were registered in early September. Laboratory research confirmed the presence the bacteria in the ground beef produced by this plant.   

As soon as this happened, instructions were given by the relevant Russian bodies to toughen control over the U.S. meat. According to the press secretary of the Federal Service For Veterinary and Phytosanitary Supervision of Russia (Rosselkhoznadzor) Alexei Alexeyenko, the monitoring was never cancelled. Only now it has become total, which means that all shipments of meat coming from the USA are under check.

"The control was toughened as soon as the first reports, unofficial though, came," Alexeyenko said. "Officially, the U.S. services have not notified us yet. We ourselves made an inquiry and immediately took emergency measures. Thus, all produce coming to Russia is under strict control now."
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