March 23, 2017
US institutes 100% re-inspection of Brazil meat
Concerned US authorities on Wednesday, March 22, said they were instituting additional pathogen testing of all shipments of raw beef and ready-to-eat products from Brazil amid allegations of tainted Brazilian meat being sold.
The US Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) said it has also increased its examination of all Brazilian meat products at ports of entry across the country to keep the food supply safe for American families.
"The agency will indefinitely maintain its 100% re-inspection and pathogen testing of all lots of FSIS-regulated products imported from Brazil", FSIS assured the American public.
Mike Young, acting deputy secretary of agriculture, said, "FSIS has strengthened the existing safeguards that protect the American food supply as a precaution and is monitoring the Brazilian government's investigation closely".
FSIS maintained that none of the slaughter or processing facilities implicated in the Brazilian scandal had shipped meat products to the US.
100% point-of-entry re-inspection
Even then, it added, effective last March 18, FSIS has instituted 100% point-of-entry re-inspection of all Brazilian beef imported into the US, including conducting product examination on 100% of the lots.
"This re-inspection includes 100% testing of beef trimmings from Brazil for salmonella, E. coli O157:H7, and non-O157 shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC). The 100% re-inspection also includes 100% testing of ready-to-eat products from Brazil for salmonella and Listeria monocytogenes", it said.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, thesecond-largest buyer of Brazilian chicken, has ordered new inspections of meat from the South American nation,while Egypt has temporarily suspended permits on new imports, according to a report by Bloomberg.
Qatarhas alsoinstructed port operators to hold Brazilian meat until samples were taken and validated, and Oman is reportedly waiting for "concrete evidence".
China, Hong Kong, the EU, Japan, Mexico, Chile and Egypt, among others, have imposed either a total or partial ban on Brazilian meat.
Russia has demanded clarifications from Brazil, but South Korea has lifted a temporary suspension on the distribution of chicken already imported from Brazil, after authorities had confirmed that no tainted poultry had entered the country.
Earlier on Monday, Brazilian Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said they expected more than 30 countries to "question Brazil about this issue".
The Brazilian meat scare started after police claimed that health inspectors had been bribed to certify meat no longer fit for consumption and that additives were used to mask problems in the produce, according to AFP.
Exports have been stopped from 21 meat processors under investigation, and at least 30 people have been arrested, the AFP report said.
Among the facilities shut down was a poultry-processing plant run by the multinational BRF group and two meat-processing plants operated by the local Peccin company.