UPDATE 3:36PM: Meat and LIvestock Australia has advised that traceback procedures are still underway to determine the source of the E. coli in a Japanese restaurant chain.
"It is still unknown as to whether the source of the E. coli was beef, other food sources or handling practices," MLA's Melanie Brock has advised.
She added that Australian beef enjoys strong support from the Japanese trade and has a strong record in terms of safety.
"All Australian meat products are thoroughly tested and inspected under government supervision. "
EARLIER: Unconfirmed media reports have linked Australian beef to an E. coli outbreak in Japan.
The reports relate to an incident in Japan’s Toyama prefecture on May 6 when 15 people were infected with the O157 strain of E. coli bacteria after eating at an outlet of the large Gyu-kaku restaurant chain.
According to an AFP report, all people who used the same chop sticks to cook and eat raw meat slices experienced moderate symptoms and have recovered.
The company that owns the Gyu-kaku chain, REINS International, said in AFP media reports that “it suspected the infections might have been caused by Australian beef imports.”
An MLA spokesperson told Beef Central this morning that the claims were currently being looked into.
Beef Central will update this article as more details come to hand.
HAVE YOUR SAY