By AVA TURNQUEST
Tribune Chief Reporter
THE MINISTRY of Agriculture and Marine Resources yesterday announced a ban on all processed meat imports from Brazil for the next two months as a precaution following the shocking bribery scandal unfolding in the South American country.
The government of Brazil has suspended exports from 21 meat-processing units due to food inspectors taking bribes to allow sales of rotten and salmonella-tainted meats.
“To safeguard public health and food safety in the Bahamas,” a ministry press statement read, “the Minister for Agriculture and Marine Resources, the Hon V Alfred Gray, has announced a precautionary ban of meat imports from Brazil.
“Until further notice, no permits for the importation of processed meat products from Brazil will be issued. This includes corned beef as well as other beef products and beef by-products.
“The Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Resources will continue to monitor this issue over the next 60 days and should we be satisfied that imports from Brazil be resumed, it would be with the following proviso: beef must be slaughtered and processed at an approved Government abattoir and processing facility; a Sanitary certificate should accompany all imports from Brazil; inspection of all batch containers be done at the Port of Entry; an Import Permit must be sought by all importers from the relevant Government agency; and a registry must be compiled of all importers of beef and beef products from Brazil.”