Egypt suspends meat shipments from Brazil in light of expired-meat probe

Bassem Abo Alabass , Wednesday 22 Mar 2017

A veterinarian analyses a piece of meat collected by Public Health Surveillance agents during an inspection of supermarkets, at a veterinary laboratory with the public health department in Rio de Janeiro on Monday (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt’s agriculture ministry has announced a temporary ban on imports of meat and poultry from Brazil in view of a probe by Brazilian authorities into the export of expired meat, the ministry’s spokesman told Ahram Online on Wednesday.

"We are communicating with the Brazilian embassy in Cairo over this issue, and we already have our strategic stock of meat for the coming months,” Hamed Abdel-Daym said.

According to the Associated Press, Brazilian authorities have launched an investigation into the alleged sale and export of expired meat by the country’s major meat and poultry suppliers.

On Friday, Brazilian police issued 38 arrest warrants related to the probe, naming several companies, including giant meatpackers JBS and BRF. Both companies have denied any wrongdoing.

China and the EU declared earlier this week that they had halted all meat imports from Brazil.

Abdel-Daym said on Wednesday, “We are sure that all meat and poultry imported from Brazil and already in the markets is safe because there are three different state bodies checking these imports.

”The health and agriculture ministries and the export and import control authority are the entities responsible for examining the meat imports before allowing them into the markets.”

Egypt is among the world’s main importers of meat and poultry from Brazil.

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