The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) has revealed plans to relax a ban on Italian cured pork meat products, which has been in place since the 1960s.
A USDA document indicated that the ban would be lifted from the regions of Lombardia, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto and Piemonte, and the provinces of Trento and Bolzano from 28 May 2013.
It stated that the decision was made following an assessment by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), which determined that these areas were free of swine vesicular disease. This disease, which is heat-resistant and can survive for a long time in cured, salted and dried pork products, was the primary reason for the imposition of the ban in the ’60s.
“Based on an assessment of the animal health status of these areas, which we made available to the public for review and comment through a previous notice of availability, the Administrator has determined that the importation of pork or pork products from these areas presents a low risk of introducing swine vesicular disease into the US,” APHIS said.