Ireland on Monday became the first member of the European Union approved to export beef to the U.S. in the aftermath of America’s dissolved 15-year European Union beef embargo.

The American beef industry had been shuttered to European imports since 1998, when Europe’s mad cow disease outbreak put global meat markets on edge, according to Reuters. Though the U.S. lifted its beef ban in March 2014, European countries wishing to export to the U.S. must first pass auditing conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

According to a USDA inspection cited by Reuters, Ireland is the first European country deemed to have “consistently and effectively implemented a beef slaughter inspection system that satisfies all criteria for equivalence with the United States’ system.”

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