Japanese restaurant declines to serve U.S. beef

A Japanese restaurant chain promises it won't serve U.S. beef, saying U.S. meat processing is insufficient to protect consumers against mad cow disease.

Even though the Japanese government announced Monday it will resume North American beef imports after a two-year ban, the Sukiya restaurant chain, which serves bowls of rice covered with seasoned beef, will continue using Australian beef, according to the Asahi Shimbun.

"Japanese consumers are demanding all the cattle be tested, but U.S. cattle won't be," said an official of Zensho Inc., owner of the Sukiya chain. "We can't say the safety of U.S. beef has been secured."

In November, Japan Today reported that Zensho President Kentaro Ogawa had personally inspected U.S. meat processing plants. Ogawa said that U.S. meat processing plants do not incinerate cows' brains or other parts that are of high risk of carrying bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

"We want the U.S. to prove and explain to Japanese consumers that there is no cow infected with the disease. The proof for safety is the responsibility of the producer," Zensho said in a press release according to UPI.


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