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Breaking News:

The Bahamas bans Brazil beef

  • V. Alfred Gray.

  • Brazilian Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi (right) holds a tray with a package of poultry during an inspection yesterday at the meatpacking company JBS, in Lapa, in the Brazilian state of Paraná. Brazilian President Michel Temer said yesterday that a scandal over the sale of expired meat is an "economic embarrassment" for Brazil. AP

Guardian Business Reporter

Published: Mar 22, 2017

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Consumers in The Bahamas are being warned not to eat any meat products imported from Brazil.

A precautionary ban has been placed on meat products, which include corned beef, being imported into the country from Brazil, effective immediately, according to Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources V. Alfred Gray.

Speaking with Guardian Business yesterday Gray said, “We are asking those people who are purchasing corned beef and other beef products that have already gotten into our food system, to discard those products immediately until further notice.”

Shortly after Gray was contacted by Guardian Business, the Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources sent out a statement on the matter.

Parts of the statement read:

“The Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources is aware of the meat scandal unfolding in Brazil relative to food inspectors taking bribes to allow sales of rotten and salmonella-tainted meats. Blairo Maggi, Brazil's agriculture minister, advised that the government of Brazil has suspended exports from 21

meat-processing units.

“Until further notice, no permits for the importation of processed meat products from Brazil will be issued. This includes corned beef as well as other beef products and beef by-products.

“The Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources will continue to monitor this issue over the next 60 days and, should we be satisfied that imports from Brazil be resumed, it would be with the following proviso:

“Beef must be slaughtered and processed at an approved government abattoir and processing facility; a sanitary certificate should accompany all imports from Brazil; inspection of all batch containers must be done at the port of entry; an import permit must be sought by all importers from the relevant government agency; and a registry must be compiled of all importers of beef and beef products from Brazil.”

Regional neighbor Jamaica also announced yesterday an immediate import ban on corned beef from Brazil.

According to recent news reports, police investigations into Brazil’s meat industry led to the conclusion that companies BRF SA and JBS SA, along with dozens of smaller companies, were involved in a scandal that permitted the overlooking of condemned practices.

JBS is the world’s largest meat producer and BRF is the biggest poultry exporter. The companies have denied the allegations.

China reportedly suspended imports of all meat products from Brazil as a precautionary measure and the European Union suspended imports from four Brazilian meat-processing facilities.

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