CMO Speaks on Banning Brazil Corned Beef

Chief Medical Officer Dr Lowell Lewis is asking the public to be cautious about purchasing beef and chicken products which originated in Brazil.

“In light of the concerns raised and the steps being taken regionally in response to the reports of tainted beef and chicken products being exported from Brazil, the Ministry of Health is asking the public to exercise extreme caution in relation to the purchase and use of meat and chicken products from Brazil,” Dr Lewis said in a statement.

“We intend to conduct further investigations and await official information from our regional advising bodies.

Measures being considered by the ministry include:-

  • A temporary hold on all permits for the import of corned beef from Brazil;
  • Increased surveillance and random inspection by Environmental Health Officers of stocks of  imported corned beef, and removal of Brazilian products from shelves of supermarkets and stores.
  • Collection of random samples for chemical, bacteriological and microbiological testing.
  • An educational programme to inform consumers of the risks and effects of eating contaminated beef from non-approved sources.
  • Continued networking with regional and sub-regional partner agencies in developing a common position in response to this matter.

The move by the local ministry comes after Jamaica and other Caribbean nations have banned the importation of beef and poultry products from Brazil following reports that several major meat processors in the South American nation have been selling rotten beef and poultry.

Several countries have gone as far as banning all meat and meat products from Brazil, where it is alleged that companies involved in the illegal practice paid hefty bribes to auditors in exchange for fraudulent sanitary licences.

The European Union, China and Chile decided to halt some meat imports from the South American country, and Jamaica was the first Caribbean country to follow suit, with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries saying the companies implicated by the Brazilian authorities in the scandal supply 99.5 per cent of the corned beef on the local market.

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