September 6, 2008


Mexico suspends beef, poultry exports to the US


Mexico has imposed a ban on beef and poultry exports to the US after US officials raised concerns about the quality of Mexican food processing and inspections, according to an Agriculture Department official on Thursday (September 4, 2008).


The department's Food Safety and Inspection Service found systemic problems with sanitation controls and record-keeping during an annual inspection.


The voluntary suspension began on August 29, said Amanda Eamich, spokeswoman for the service. Mexican meat accounts for 2 percent of beef and poultry in the US market.


"Safety concerns in multiple establishments were not identified by Mexican in-plant inspection personnel, demonstrating that Mexico's system to verify its plants were producing safe food in a clean facility was insufficient," Eamich said.


Eamich said the inspection report would be published on the agency's website within 60 days.


It is unknown how long the suspension would last as Mexico takes steps to improve food safety.

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