EU-destined exports from 10 Brazilian poultry plants suspended

Brazilian authorities have reportedly moved to suspend exports from poultry processor BRF SA to the European Union earlier this month, according to Reuters.

While only a temporary ban of about a month is envisaged, BRF is currently under investigation on the suspicion of food fraud to evade food safety checks.

The export suspension affects 10 out of 35 BRF plants in Brazil, according to the company in question.

BRF is understood to have shipped 278,000t of poultry and processed products to Europe last year.

It said its products shipped to Europe before March 16 could still be sold and consumed without restriction, adding that the suspension was “preemptive”, according to Reuters.

Brazilian authorities reportedly said the temporary export halt maintains the credibility of Brazil’s inspection services, adding that a solution is expected to be found to resume exports.

Operation Weak Flesh one year on

This news follows 12 months on from the Operation Weak Flesh controversy which threw Brazilian meat exports into the spotlight, when a number of Brazilian government officials were arrested in a major police investigation.

The news of the major Brazilian meat scandal broke in mid-March 2017 when federal agents raided the operations of Brazil’s largest food companies.

Employees of these companies were accused of bribing inspectors to allow rotten meals to be served in public schools and for salmonella-contaminated meat to be exported to Europe.

The controversy caused a total of 45 nations to implement some kind of restrictions on imports from Brazil.