Russian officials are hinting they are about to close their swinging doors to pork imports from the United States. Russia wants Washington to comply with its quality standards and agree on meat safety certification. Sergei Dankvert, head of Russia's National Meat Association, told Reuters U.S. exporters are generally not meeting Russian specifications. He is quoted as saying, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service has said it would not observe Russian food safety standards.
Since the end of October Russia has intensified its monitoring of U.S. pork products. To make its point, Russia has again expanded its ban on U.S. pork imports to include four more plants. The latest action, effective December 18, includes two more Smithfield Foods slaughterhouses, one in Monmouth, Iowa, and one in Clinton, North Carolina. The other two plants being reported are Pork King Packing in Marengo, Illinois, and Hatfield Quality Meats in Hatfield, Pennsylvania.
Earlier Russia banned imports from seven U.S. pork plants, citing findings of oxytetracycline in the products received.