WASHINGTON – The Mexican government has voluntarily suspended shipments of meat and processed poultry to the U.S. after American officials reported misgivings about the quality of Mexican processing and inspections, a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) official said Thursday.

The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) identified problems with sanitation controls and record keeping during an annual audit that took place between June 24 and July 31.

The voluntary suspension began Aug. 29, said Amanda Eamich, a spokeswoman for the FSIS. About 2 percent of beef and poultry in the United States come from Mexican producers.

Reports said it was not known how long the suspension would last as Mexico works to improve food safety.

Food & Water Watch, a consumer advocacy group, reportedly said it had advised the USDA in late August of its suspicions about Mexico's exports of meat and poultry.


Source: Associated Press