Russia has expanded its ban of raw pork products to include Indiana and New Jersey, and the country said it will maintain its ban until June 1. It did lessen its ban on meat products from Kansas and Ohio and will allow imports of meat other than raw pork from those states.

The Russian government said it has divided up the United States into zones, Reuters reports. Zone One is where multiple cases of the North American flu virus has appeared and its propagation among pigs was unclear. All raw meat and meat products are banned from states in Zone One, including New York, Texas and California. Zone Two, where only raw pork and pork products are banned, includes states bordering Mexico, states where isolated cases of flu have been reported and presence of the virus among pigs is highly improbable. Zone Three includes all virus-free states, and imports of meat products is unaffected by the flu outbreak.

The U.S. Embassy in Moscow issued a statement saying that pork products from the United States are safe and that there has been no evidence that the virus could be transferred by eating meat.

Source: Reuters

Seasoning products imported from China recalled

Lion Pavilion Ltd., a Brooklyn, N.Y. establishment, is recalling approximately 16,213 pounds of seasoning products, which contain cattle by-products. They were ineligible for import to the U.S., the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced today.

The firm is recalling these products because China is not eligible to export beef products to the United States.

The products subject to recall include 14-ounce packages of "Lion Pavilion Hot-Pot Seasoning Containing Bovine Cattle Fat."

The beef products were imported from China and sent to retail establishments nationwide. The problem was discovered after FSIS personnel identified the products in the marketplace. FSIS has received no reports of illness as a result of consuming this product.

Source: Food Safety and Inspection Service

CFIA denies altering Maple Leaf Foods report

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency denies altering a report that questioned whether Maple Leaf Foods had cleaned all of its equipment at a Toronto meat-processing plant, six months before last year’s outbreak of listeriosis that killed 22 people. The report comes from a plant inspection on February 11, 2008. In August of 2008, the CFIA told the inspector to add a note stating that the company cleaned its slicing machines, and as a result, there was no food safety risk, reports CBC News.

Cameron Prince, CFIA’s vice president of operations, told a government committee investigating the outbreak that the note was not added to change the report. After the outbreak of Listeria, CFIA officials reviewed the plant’s inspection reports, and the inspectors were interviewed by food safety auditors. The auditors determined in some cases that the initial reports did not indicate the full recollection of the inspectors.

"And in the course of that work, they came across some records, they interviewed the inspectors involved," Prince said. "And in this very small percentage, there was additional information put on the record to clarify." He noted that it was not uncommon to change inspection records.

The addition to the 2008 report reads, in part, "It was identified that all slicing equipment was being sanitized in the operator's frequency, however, the operator was not recording for all the lines. As the lines were being cleaned, no food safety risk was identified."

Source: CBC News

Brazil may bail out its poultry industry

Brazil, the world’s largest exporter of beef and chicken, may extend a line of credit up to $1.38 billion to rescue its chicken industry. Previously, the country extended a line of credit worth $4.59 billion to beef producers.

"The meat industry is suffering a lot," said Miguel Jorge, Brazil’s Trade and Industry Minister, according to Reuters. He pointed out that as many as 100,000 producers in the southern state of Santa Catarina have been affected by the global recession and a lessening of demand. He pointed out that several slaughterhouses had recently shut down.

Source: Reuters

McDonald's loses Malaysian McTrademark infringement case

A Malaysian court has ruled that an Indian restaurant named McCurry can keep its name, rejecting that McDonald’s can’t claim an exclusive right to the “Mc” prefix. The Appeal Court ruled that there was no proof that McCurry misrepresented itself to the public and noted that McCurry’s Indian food is not related to McDonald’s menu, according to theChicago Tribune.

In the United States, McDonald’s has successfully forced restaurants starting with “Mc” to change their names, and the chain considers “Mc” to be a part of the company’s intellectual property. The company said in a statement that it was disappointed with the ruling but would not comment further, as it had not seen the written decision.

Source: Chicago Tribune