TOKYO (AP)--Japan will check all processed meats imported from the United States after a shipment was found in early March with sausages containing beef in violation of regulations aimed at containing bovine spongiform encephalopathy, an official said March 5.
On March 2, Japan suspended imports from Jobbers Meat Packing Co. after a 1,108-box shipment was found to include two types of sausages in 188 boxes that listed beef as an ingredient.
Japan bans the import of U.S. meat products such as sausage that contain processed beef under restrictions aimed at controlling the threat of BSE .
Following the March 2 discovery, Japan plans to open and inspect all shipments of processed meat from the U.S., Agriculture Vice Minister Yoshio Kobayashi said.
"It was truly disappointing that this incident should have occurred," Kobayashi told reporters, without indicating whether the stepped-up inspections would be temporary or permanent.
Ministry officials have found that only one of the two types of problem sausage sent by the Los Angeles-based company actually contained beef, despite beef being listed on the labels of both types, Kyodo News agency reported.
Inspectors at airports and ports currently check about 30 percent of processed meat products imported by Japan, regardless of the nation of origin, Kyodo said. Processed meats include sausages, ham and bacon.
Last month Japan said it would suspend beef imports from a Nebraska processing plant after finding meat in a shipment that violated a regulation imposed over BSE concerns.
Plant owner Tyson Foods Inc., said the boxes of beef were mistakenly included in a shipment destined for export from its Tyson Fresh Meats plant in Lexington.