Sunday, 19 November, 2017

Brazil meatpackers accused of selling 'rotten' beef, chicken

NTUC Fair Price checking with poultry suppliers over Brazil’s rotten meat scandal Processed meat at NTUC Fairprice. TODAY file
Juana Turner | 21 March, 2017, 00:33

"The aim of the investigation is not the Brazilian health monitoring system, but a few deviations in conduct by a few officials and a few firms", he said.

Police said among those arrested were two JBS employees and three BRF employees.

President Temer sat down on Sunday night with a host of ambassadors to enjoy a churrascaria, serving prime cuts of beef on giant skewers, in the capital Brasilia.

Mr Temer said the plants under scrutiny represented a tiny proportion of Brazil's meat industry.

Temer told the ambassadors that the Agriculture Ministry would soon release a list of countries that could have received rotten meat as well as the name of the meatpackers responsible.

He said the reports from Brazil would indicate that basic requirements around traceability and food safety are still not being met in Brazil.

Dozens of meat processors officers were searched by Brazilian federal police last Friday, including pork and poultry processors JBS S.A. and BRF S.A.

Sources close to the Brazilian industry told Beef Central that police had visited processing plants to gain access to meat inspectors' computers, phones and records.

The proposed trade deal between Europe and Mercosur, the trading bloc which includes Brazil and Argentina, had been expected to include a more preferential tariff regime for beef imports from Mercosur countries.

About 150 countries buy meat from Brazil, with principal markets as widespread as Singapore, Saudi Arabia, China, Japan, Russia, the Netherlands and Italy.

The claims appear to relate to discovery of frozen meat being used by a small value-adding company where use-by dates on product had expired.

Temer set up the meeting following inquiries from the European Union and China over the scandal.

An NTUC FairPrice spokesman said it is aware of ongoing investigations into BRF, which owns the Sadia and Perdigao brands, and JBS, owner of Big Frango and Swift brands, which supplies poultry products to NTUC FairPrice as well as other retailers.

On the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil's second-largest city, the scandal left many consumers in doubt.


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