June 27, 2007


Japan to conduct immediate inspection on beef plants over mislabelling incidents



The Japanese government has ordered an emergency inspection of beef products nationwide after one processor had been found to mislabel beef products for almost 10 years, according to Japan's Agriculture Ministry.


The ministry found that Meat Hope, a processor based in Hokkaido in northern Japan, has since 1998 mislabelled its minced beef products that also contain pork, chicken and duck. The processor also reportedly combined Japanese and non-Japanese ground beef and sold it as Japanese; mixed beef hearts with ground pork to improve the pork's colour; and changed expiration dates of frozen food items.


The ministry is yet to take action against Meat Hope.


The government also plans to undertake a month-long survey during which officials will buy products such as meatballs and hamburger patties and conduct DNA analysis to determine their contents. Results are expected to be released in early August.