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Few beef products imported from Canada

Investigation reveals few beef products imported from Canada

An investigation by the New Zealand Food Safety Authority has revealed that few beef products are imported from Canada.

The NZFSA began investigating what beef or beef related products are imported into New Zealand yesterday following news that a cow had tested positive for BSE in Canada.

“Customs data shows that New Zealand has imported approximately 100 tonnes of beef fat tallow oil and 250 tonnes of shortening, which may contain beef fat, over the past 18 months,” NZFSA director Tim Knox said.

“The shortening is used in cooking. Beef fat tallow oil is normally used for cosmetics, soap, candles and other such non-food products. Given the very low levels of residual protein that are likely to be present in these products, the fact that the volumes imported are very small, and the fact that there are approximately 15 million cattle in Canada, only one of which has been confirmed with BSE, we believe that any possibility of contamination of these products with the BSE agent is negligible. We do not therefore propose to take any further action in relation to these imports,” Mr Knox said. The NZFSA was also investigating whether sausages imported from Canada contained beef. However it has been confirmed they contain pork.

Mr Knox said the temporary hold on consignments from beef products from Canada would remain in place until further information is available from Canada.

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority is also continuing to re-evaluate the importation measures that should be applied to Canada following this case of BSE.

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