25 Jan 2010

Review of US ban on haggis ingredients

3:29 pm on 25 January 2010

Scots are about to celebrate Burns Night - an evening of food, drink and poetry in honour of their national bard Robert Burns.

A key ingredient of any Burns Night feast is the haggis. But a generation of Scots living in the United States have not been able to enjoy the real thing imported from Scotland.

That's because of a ban imposed by US authorities on certain British meat imports in 1989 when cows there developed the brain disease BSE.

But the BBC reports the ban is now being reviewed. That could mean haggis is restored to pride of place on dinner tables in America.

The US Department of Agriculture said new regulations were being drafted, in line with international standards.

In the words of Robbie Burns in his Ode to a haggis, the US could be said to have looked down with "sneering, scornful view" on the "great chieftain o' the puddin'-race".

The dish is traditionally served with neeps and tatties on Burns Night (25 January).

Haggis maker Jo MacSween said the review would come as good news to expats and tourists.

She said sales of haggis were no longer confined to the Burns Night season in January.

Her company has also diversified into products such as haggis nachos.