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Today’s Talk: Where’s The Beef From? The Kobe Beef Menu Debate

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - If you’ve ever paid for a piece of Kobe beef, you know the steak is expensive.

But are you getting what you paid for?

Turns out, authentic Kobe beef hasn’t been imported to the US from Japan in a couple of years, reports TV 10-55’s Ann Mercogliano.

USDA restrictions prevent Kobe meat from being imported, and those restrictions have been in place since 2010, but Kobe meat is still on many menus.

Butcher Matthew Katakis, owner of the Butcher Bar in Queens, and other foodies are crying foul.

“I believe it is misleading to label anything Kobe like, Kobe type or anything like.” said Katakis.

The Old Homestead Steakhouse in the meat packing district – known for its top notch steaks and burgers – serve what they label a “kobe American burger.” It’s $41 for 20 ounces of juicy American beef.

“I would have to say it’s comparable to the original Kobe beef that we were getting from Japan.” said owner Marc Sherry.

When customers see the word “Kobe” on the menu, some ask if it is from Japan. Owners Marc and Greg Sherry answer in the negative, but insist their beef is bred to the highest quality.