Government maintains ban of Brazilian meats

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 - 17:30

The Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries is maintaining the ban on meats from Brazil.

The ministry says Trinidad and Tobago's ambassador to Brazil Dr Amery Browne is speaking to agricultural officials there on the issue but for now the ban remains.

The following is a statement by the ministry:

"The temporary restriction on imports and retail sales of all meat products from Brazil remains in place pending the outcome of ongoing talks with the Brazilian government about its food-safety standards. 

 The Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries will make a decision to lift the ban once it is fully satisfied that the affected products - corned beef, chicken patties and chicken nuggets - pose no risk to local consumers.
Since the story broke two weeks ago, Agriculture Minister Clarence Rambharat has sought assurances from the Brazilian authorities via Dr. Amery Browne, Trinidad and Tobago’s Ambassador in Brazil, about the safety of corned beef, chicken patties and chicken nuggets made in that country.
Ambassador Browne has held meetings and exchanged correspondence with officials of Brazil’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Farming to fully understand the actions being taken by the South American country to restore confidence in its meat-producing sector.
Additionally, following discussions with our own Ministry of Health, the Chemistry, Food and Drug Division undertook pathogen testing of Brazil-made corned beef, chicken patties and chicken nuggets to rule out contamination and ensure these products meet health standards. The full results of these tests will be revealed once pathogen testing is complete.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries is aware that the governments of Barbados and Jamaica this week lifted bans on imports of Brazilian corned beef. However, as a precaution, the temporary restriction on corned beef imports and retail sales remains in force for Trinidad and Tobago.
Two weeks ago, the Ministry of Agriculture, Land and Fisheries stopped issuing import permits for meat products from Brazil and advised the Chemistry, Food and Drug Division of the Ministry of Health to immediately recall from supermarkets and other retail outlets corned beef, chicken patties and chicken nuggets originating from Brazil.
That action followed an investigation by Brazilian authorities that uncovered major meat-processing plants in the country sold rotten beef and poultry for years, while bribing health officials to issue fraudulent inspection reports.
Minister Rambharat and officials from the Ministries of Health and Trade subsequently met with President of the Supermarket Association Dr. Yunus Ibrahim and other Association members, and local importers of corned beef and chicken products from Brazil.
The meeting was called to give importers and distributors the opportunity to discuss the recall and have concerns relating to its implementation addressed."