US food safety experts to audit Scottish beef

By Laurence Gibbons contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Bovine spongiform encephalopathy, United kingdom

Scotch beef could soon be on the way to the US
Scotch beef could soon be on the way to the US
US food safety inspectors will audit Scottish beef production following the lifting of a BSE (bovine spongiform encephalopathy) related ban, according to Scottish food secretary Richard Lochhead.

If they were happy with the way UK authorities regulate the livestock processing sector, they would give the greenlight for Scotch beef to be exported into the US, he said.

There have been BSE related restrictions on red meat imports from the UK since 1989, with bans on imports from all Member States (MS) in the EU since 1997.

In November 2013, the US formally lifted its BSE import restrictions on the whole of the EU.

Before any MS can start to export its red meat into the US market, each country has to individually agree, with the US, equivalence status for their food safety controls.

Open the door

Lochhead said the ruling could open the door for other Scottish food products to be exported to the US.

“I am looking forward to Scotland hosting a formal audit mission from the US authorities in the first half of this year, which should enable the importation of Scotch beef to recommence,”​ he claimed.

“I’m also optimistic that this will help to pave the way for the resumption of imports of other iconic Scottish products such as haggis and Scotch lamb.”

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