The Ministry of Agriculture announced to Reuters that Brazilian meat imports have resumed from authorised Brazilian slaughterhouses and that all shipments will be checked twice—once in the country of origin and again upon arrival to Egypt.
According to Reuters, Brazilian authorities have been “investigating how meatpackers allegedly paid off inspectors to overlook practices including processing rotten meat, shipping exports with traces of salmonella, and not carrying out inspections of plants.”
In a statement released by the Secretariat of Animal and Plant Health (SDA) of Brazil’s ministry of agriculture, livestock, and food supply (MAPA), measures adopted in relation to the police operation targeting animal protein production establishments were announced.
Some of the actions announced were: 1) shutting down three establishments as a cautionary measure, 2) asking the Federal Court of Curitiba for the analyses reports from the police investigation, 3) investigating the alleged wrongful practices committed by civil servants and the discharge of said servants and others in leadership positions.
The statement highlighted the following programs as part of the investigation:
- The National Pathogens Control Program (PNPC) aimed at identifying the prevalence of pathogens that are important to public health in animal origin products under federal inspection, assess the process controls adopted by establishments, and manage risk in order to preserve food safety.
- The Program to Assess Compliance with Physical, Chemical, and Microbiological Standards for Edible Animal Origin Products (PACPOA) aimed at obtaining data to verify the compliance rate of animal origin products, assess the product and process controls carried out by establishments, and subsidise risk management carried out by the Department of Inspection of Animal Products (DIPOA).
“The results of the analyses of the programmes mentioned demonstrate an overall compliance rate over 90% for meat products. It is worth noting that the products considered ‘non-compliant’ according to standards set forth, in most part, do not represent risk to public health,” said the SDA in the statement.
MAPA has 4,837 establishments registered with DIPOA and a staff of approximately 11,000 employees. Of the total, only 21 establishments were cited in the “Carne Fraca” Investigation, and 33 civil servants are allegedly involved in wrongful actions.
In numbers, this means that 99.8% of registered or related establishments and 99.7% of staff are not involved in the charges from the “Carne Fraca” Investigation.
“Said reality enables us to consider the violations as isolated cases,” the statement concluded.
The Brazilian companies that were involved in the scandal have denied wrongdoing, and Brazilian authorities confirmed that there were no cases of death or sickness linked to the meat investigation.