Government has lifted the temporary ban on corned beef imported from Brazil.
This announcement was made by the Hon Karl Samuda, Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, at a media briefing held at the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Hope Gardens offices in Kingston today (April 4).
“We have been able to establish that the sources of Brazilian corned beef imported into Jamaica were not compromised and so we are now in a position to resume importation of corned beef from Brazil, said Minister Samuda.”
Minister Samuda stated that the ban on canned corned beef imported into Jamaica from Brazil is now officially lifted and all corned beef en route to the island will be cleared. Also, all stocks now being held in quarantine will be released for distribution and consumption.
The temporary ban, which took effect on March 21, was prompted by reports from Brazilian authorities that several major Brazilian meat processors had been selling tainted beef and poultry meat. The companies were also alleged to have paid hefty bribes to auditors in exchange for fraudulent sanitary licences.
The Minister said the lifting of the ban was based on the satisfactory results of an audit conducted by a team of officials from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries and the Ministry of Health who visited Brazil during the week of March 29-April 2, as well as the “no adverse findings” of analyses conducted by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica and the Veterinary Services Division on samples of canned corned beef taken from batches of the product previously imported into Jamaica.
Based on the findings, “The inspection team is satisfied that the production of canned corned beef at the relevant plants is done with a high level of sanitation and hygiene practices and meets the minimum international standards in accordance with Codex Alimentarius and other established guidelines,” said Minister Samuda.
The agriculture minister further stated that the inspection team was able to verify that the Brazilian authorities have demonstrated the implementation of effective control systems and measures for the production of canned corned beef for export to Jamaica. Additionally, the authorities have further provided satisfactory assurances regarding compliance with best practices, including HACCP implementation at the processing establishments visited.
The team also indicated that effective control and traceability systems were in place throughout the entire chain of the two establishments visited and verified that only raw material meeting food safety criteria was used for the production of canned corned beef for export to Jamaica. They also confirmed that the official controls implemented at the two establishments by the Federal Inspection Agency were satisfactory.
“With these findings, the public can be assured that the products are safe for consumption,” said Minister Samuda. He, however, cautioned that given the issues which continue to surround the beef industry in Brazil, the Government will continue to monitor the situation at all levels.
MINISTRY OF INDUSTRY, COMMERCE AGRICULTURE & FISHERIES
Tuesday, April 4, 2017.