WASHINGTON – Pork imports from one Tyson Foods Inc. plant and two Smithfield Foods Inc. facilities are being stopped by Russia, the US Department of Agriculture said on Dec. 20.

Starting Dec. 31, Russia will not accept pork shipments from Smithfield’s Farmland Foods plant in Monmouth, Ill., a Smithfield Packing Inc. plant in Smithfield, Va., or a Tyson Fresh Meats plant in Waterloo, Iowa.

Based on information sent to MEATPOULTRY.com by Smithfield Foods, FSIS provided under the establishment number of each of the pre-mentioned plants the following verbiage: “Effective Dec. 31, 2010, this establishment is ineligible to export pork product to the Russian Federation.” No explanations were given for the stoppage.

“We will work with USDA to resolve Russian concerns about pork from our Waterloo plant,” Tyson spokesperson Gary Mickelson told MEATPOUTRY.com. “We have confidence in the safety of the pork we produce at Waterloo, which is a USDA-inspected facility and is also staffed by members of Tyson’s own quality assurance team.

“In the meantime, we plan to continue to meet the needs of our Russian pork customers by shipping product from the three other Tyson pork plants [Logansport, Ind.; Columbus Jct., Iowa; and Madison, Neb.] that are approved to export to Russia,” he concluded.