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Timor-Leste Joins Brazil Meat BanAmid Contaminated Chicken Scandal Featured

DILI: Timor-Leste has joined the growing list of countries banning the importation of meat from Brazil, after finding salmonella-contaminated chicken meat from Brazil on sale across most supermarkets in the country.

On Friday Alfausius Costa, a sanitation and health inspector, said contaminated chicken products had been identified in Lita Store, Happy Market, Leader Supermarket, Kmanek and Centro Supermarket.

The findings come as Brazil, the largest exporter of meat products in the world, has been rocked with a contaminated meat scandal that has lead to the European Union, China, Chile and South Korea imposing temporary bans on all chicken, beef and pork from Brazil.

In March Brazilian police revealed two of Brazil’s largest meat processors had bribed officials in order to obtain safety certifications for the sale of contaminated meat.

“This was a problem of epidemic proportions,” Maurício Muscardi Grillo, a senior officer of the federal police, told Brazilian media on March 17.

Grillo revealed that police had taped recordings of deals to allow contaminated meat, some with traces of salmonella, into the supply chain. The police said that a number of arrests had been made, including managers at JBS and BRF, the biggest meat processors in Brazil.

In a statement, BRF said it was collaborating with the authorities to clarify the facts and guaranteed the quality of its products in the 150 countries in which they are sold.

“BRF reiterates that it conforms with norms and regulations in reference to the production and marketing of its products, has rigorous processes and controls, and does not tolerate illicit practices,” the company said.

BRF is the world’s biggest meat producer and specialises in chicken and pork, while JBS is the biggest domestic producer of beef.

Robert Grantham, a consultant with Solve Shipping of Itajai and a former country manager for Cosco Shipping, told Brazilian media he was “staggered” by the news and believes it was just a few isolated incidents.

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