Japan: DNA testing introduced to protect Kobe beef brands

In October this year, beef producers and sellers in Hyogo Prefecture introduced DNA testing as part of efforts to make the control over Kobe and Tajima brand high-reputation beef more stringent.

Six certified Kobe beef slaughterhouses now collect meat samples when a Kobe cow is slaughtered and send the samples to a newly-established meat center in Himeji City. The center will mark the samples with unique identification numbers and store them, so that people can check meat in the market against the DNA of the stored samples.

The identification numbers will be printed on the meat certificates. Butcher’s shops or restaurants can check if the labels on meat sold under Kobe and Tajima brands are real. The demand for the high-brand beef is increasing as it gets popular among inbound travelers and in the markets in Europe, the U.S., and other countries in the world. The introduction of the tighter management system will make the beef brands more reliable.

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