Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar and Egypt halts Brazilian beef and poultry imports over food safety fears

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(Dubai-News Halal-Jumada II 26, 1438 H, 24 April 2017) Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt halted beef and poultry imports from Brazilian companies over concerns about food safety after accusations that individuals had been bribed to allow sales of rotten and salmonella-tainted meats. Analysts are certain that the scandal would hurt Brazilian economy and meat exports severely.

Following a two-year investigation of Brazil’s meatpacking industry, police have accused more than 100 people, mostly health inspectors, of taking bribes for allowing the sale of rancid products, falsifying export documents or failing to inspect meatpacking plants.

“This measure was taken in the interest of citizens’ and residents’ safety,” a statement from the Saudi Food and Drug Authority, carried by Saudi Arabia’s official news agency SPA late on Wednesday, said of the halt to imports.

It listed the affected companies as JJZ Alimentos SA, Frango Dm Industria e Comercio de Alimentos Ltda, Seara Alimentos, a subsidiary of JBS, the world’s biggest meatpacking company, and BRF SA, the world’s biggest poultry exporter.

The companies have denied any wrongdoing and authorities have said that no cases of death or illness have been linked to the tainted meat investigation.

A United Arab Emirate`s announcement comes amid ongoing investigations in Brazil after its Federal Police launched raids last Friday on food processing companies following allegations of corruption by health inspectors and the alleged sale of rotten products.

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