Japan suspends beef imports from local plant

January 13, 2008 11:22:37 AM PST
Japan suspended beef imports from a Pennsylvania meatpacking plant after recent shipments from the facility contained products that failed to meet Japanese import regulations.

The Agriculture and Health Ministries say imports from Smithfield Group's Moyer packing factory in Pennsylvania, also known as MOPAC, will be suspended because more than 1,200 boxes of a recent shipment contained beef from cattle 21 months old. Japan allows only meat from cows 20 months old or younger.

Two Japanese importers were ordered to recall the products after officials found an estimated 1.4 tons of the 19-ton shipment was meat from cattle 21 months old, the statement said.

An official of Japan's Agriculture Ministry, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press the mistake was found by U.S. agriculture officials during a routine inspection.