27 Aug 2012

American Samoa hopes to open access to cooked meat from Samoa

1:49 pm on 27 August 2012

Efforts are underway to get the US Department of Agriculture to allow the importation of cooked meat from Samoa to American Samoa for cultural and personal use.

This would allow pork sausages, salted beef, and carcasses of beef, as well as pigs to be brought over from Samoa.

At present all meat imports from Samoa are banned under federal regulations.

American Samoa's director of agriculture, Lealao Mel Purcell, held discussions with USDA officials in Honolulu recently to try and have the ban lifted.

Lealao says the next step is to send officials to Samoa to inspect slaughter facilities there.

"And see what it is like with the slaughter house, if they do use those buildings or facilities to cure their meat also look at their processing plant that does the cornbeef and then come back and sit down with the Governor and see how we need to take it to another level."

Lealao says they are only looking at cooked beef normally used or given as gifts to villages or families who travel to Samoa for special occasions.