Brazil’s agriculture ministry is of the opinion that the ban on fresh Brazilian beef exports to the US could be lifted in October, according to Reuters.

Having originally been put in place in June of this year, the ban was ordered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) due to “recurring concerns about the safety of the products intended for the American market”.

The Brazilian ministry believes that the ban will come to an end once the US completes its current evaluation of documents sent in response to inquiries raised as a result of a US veterinary mission to Brazil in the first half of this year.

Despite the US accounting for just 3% of Brazil’s fresh beef exports on an annual basis, its status as a leader in food safety standards and its approval would encourage other countries to follow suit, Reuters added.

In a statement released by the Brazilian agriculture ministry, it indicated that US officials gave permission to reestablish thermoprocessed meat exports from five slaughterhouses.

Brazil’s Minister for Agriculture, Blairo Maggi added that a team of US officials recently visited Brazil on a technical mission and inspected several plants. They also spoke to ministry technicians and people in the production chain.

When the ban was announced in June, the USDA revealed that its Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) had been inspecting all Brazilian meat imports into the country since March.

Of this, 11% of Brazil’s fresh beef products had been rejected – a considerably higher figure than the 1% rejection rate of imports from other counties, it explained.

The department said that since inspection levels had increased, 106 lots – equal to about 862t – of meat were rejected. These were refused due to public health concerns, sanitary conditions and animal health issues.

The US previously indicated in mid-July that a timeline would not be set to end the US ban on fresh Brazilian beef imports until the South American country made progress on inspections.