US meat processor Tyson Foods has said China’s recent ban on products from two of its plants will not affect its growing sales in the country.

The Tyson plants were struck off a list of eligible exporters to China last month because of salmonella contamination in poultry.

At the weekend, China also suspended certain meat imports from US groups Cargill and Sanderson Farms.

However, the head of Tyson’s business in China said demand for poultry and pork from over 30 of the company’s other plants supplying China remains strong.

“It doesn’t affect my business. There’s a big shortage of protein right now because China has lost lots of pork to an outbreak of blue-ear disease,” James Rice, manager of Tyson’s China business, told just-food.

Reports at the weekend led some people to believe that China’s food safety body, the General Administration of Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine (AQSIQ), had banned all of Tyson’s products, Rice said

However, he argued that the suspensions, as well as those of Cargill and Sanderson Farms revealed at the weekend, are typical of “normal trade”.

Nevertheless, the AQSIQ has issued more notices on imported meat in the last two months than previous years. Seven plant suspensions were issued in both June and July, mostly from US importers.

Prior to this, the last plants to be delisted were in December 2005.