China has suspended imports from a number of US meat processors amid claims that supplies contained salmonella and growth-enhancers.

Products from US firms including Tyson Foods and Cargill have been blocked from entering China after checks from China’s General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

The move comes after months of focus on the standard of food in China. A number of food safety scares linked to Chinese imports have raised the profile of food safety issues, prompting recalls and government investigations in both China and the US.

The US had turned up the pressure on China, asking Beijing to toughen up its food safety standards. China, meanwhile, has criticised the media for stoking up fear over the safety of Chinese products.

Nevertheless, in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics next year, China has been quick to show the world that it is taking food safety seriously.

Last week, China executed the former head of its food and drug watchdog for bribery and said it is stepping up the supervision of food safety in response to growing international concern. Beijing has closed down 180 food factories making fake and poor quality products.