USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service officials report that Russia has banned pork imports from four U.S. processing plants. Russian officials say they have detected an antibiotic in the meat.
The suspended plants involve Tyson Foods,Storm Lake, Iowa, and Logansport, Ind., plants, and Farmland Foods' Crete, Neb., and Monmouth, Ill., plants. Note that Smithfield Foods own the Farmland plants.
"They had a question about tetracycline," says USDA Press Secretary Keith Williams. Whether the drug is prohibited by Russia as it relates to pork imports is "part of what we're checking — seeing what their question is and the basis of what they're asking," he adds.
"We're still trying to learn more about the reason for the suspension," says Gary Mickelson, Tyson's spokesperson. He says the company will continue to serve its Russian customers through its four other U.S. pork plants, which remain eligible to export to Russia, reports Meatingplace.com.
The ban is effective May 5.
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Source: USDA, Meatingplace.com