TOKYOJapan said Friday that it will send inspectors to a number of U.S. beef processing plants this week to see if they are sticking to Japanese import criteria started after the 2006 mad cow disease scare.

The government reportedly said that the inspectors were sending the inspectors after a series of regulatory infractions.

The inspectors, from Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry and the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, will inspect nine of the plants designated as qualified to export products for the Japanese market.

They will also reportedly visit a plant that is working toward being a qualified export facility, the ministries said.

The facilities include two plants that have had their export permits suspended by the Japanese government for regulatory violations - a National Beef plant in California and Smithfield's Moyer Packing factory in Pennsylvania.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently sent reports on the findings of investigations into the two factories to the Japanese government. The findings reportedly included a programming mistake in computer software designed to compute the age of beef cows and a case of human error when a factory worker put beef in a package.


Source: Japan Economic Newswire