SA suspends imports amid Brazilian meat scandal

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Pretoria - The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) has suspended imports of meat from establishments suspected to be involved in the Brazilian meat scandal.

In a statement on Wednesday, the DAFF has requested the Brazilian authorities to provide official information and a list of establishments that have been identified in the issue raised in the media regarding unsafe meat being exported to various countries, which could include South Africa.

“DAFF has also advised the Brazilian authority to ban all exportation of meat from such establishments until the issue has been resolved to the satisfaction of the South African Veterinary Authority,” said the department.

The department said it is not known how many consignments may have already left Brazil and are on their way to South Africa.

“However DAFF is in the process of ensuring that the establishments implicated are suspended from exporting meat to South Africa until the Brazilian Veterinary Authority have fully investigated the matter and can give the necessary assurances for compliance to the South African requirements for importation of meat into South Africa.”

Officials of the department at all ports of entry which receive meat have been instructed to test every container of meat from Brazil using the existing policies regarding testing of consignments.

Consignments arriving at the ports of entry in South Africa may be tested microbiologically for organisms such as Salmonella.

In addition, the department assured consumers that officials at ports of entry have been vigilant when coming to meat imports.

“DAFF wishes to assure the consumers that the officials at ports of entry have always been vigilant on meat imports from any country to ensure compliance with sanitary requirements which are put in place to protect both the consumers and animals against food safety hazards and animal diseases respectively,” it said. –SAnews.gov.za

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