Fri, Jan 15, 2010 - Page 12 News List

US bone-in-beef to arrive today

By Jason Tan  /  STAFF REPORTER

After a five-year hiatus, the first batch of US bone-in beef is scheduled to arrive in Taiwan today.

The US Meat Export Federation in Taiwan is the first vendor to order the bone-in beef, amounting to 212kg worth. It said the beef would mainly be consumed at the federation’s year-end party, with the remainder sent to seven major hotels for testing by chefs.

The first batch of bone-in beef from the US will go to a customs warehouse on arrival for inspection.

The beef will be stored at the warehouse for up to six days until the results of the analysis of the samples taken prove that the beef is safe for consumption.

The arrival of the beef follows a protocol signed in October to allow the entry of US bone-in beef and other beef products, such as ground beef and offal, that had been previously banned over concerns about mad cow disease.

The Bureau of Standards, Metrology and Inspection (BSMI) yesterday said it aimed to complete its inspection within three days.

The bureau, in collaboration with the Department of Heath, will check the beef shipment in accordance with food inspection procedures to ensure that the meat is safe for consumption, Central News Agency reported, citing BSMI Deputy Director-General Huang Lai-ho (黃來和).

The procedure will begin with checks to make sure the beef conforms to the information on its accompanying certificates, Huang said.

The Grand Hyatt Taipei (君悅大飯店) and Grand Formosa Regent Taipei (晶華酒店) said yesterday they had not received an invitation from the US Meat Export Federation.

However, Luanne Li (李佳燕), Grand Hyatt’s director of marketing communications, said the hotel’s diners would be able to try bone-in beef dishes if it receives supplies from the second batch of beef due to arrive by the end of the month.

For the Grand Hyatt, the arrival of US beef is a boon.

“The business potential is promising,” Li said. “There is a growing appetite for US bone-in beef among consumers, who love the juicy, excellent taste over beef from New Zealand and Australia.”

Ellen Chang (張筠), group public relations director of Formosa Regent, said the hotel’s steakhouse “Robin’s Grill” had designed menus in December featuring grilled steaks of bone-in rib eyes, short ribs and T-bones.

However, when they could hit the serving dishes depends on when the suppliers are able to provide them, Chang said.

“We have told our suppliers we would only accept the beef on the condition of them showing us a complete set of customs approving documents to make sure they pass safety standards,” she said.

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