Meat importing countries raise inspection bar for Brazil
Meat-importing countries from North America to Europe and Asia have tightened inspection standards for shipments from Brazil in a bid to protect consumers, following a probe into possible corruption involving inspectors.
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) said on Wednesday that the tighter inspection standards it enacted in April have resulted in checks on nearly every shipment from Brazil.
The new Canadian protocols involve full inspection - including tests for pathogens and chemical residues - of all Brazilian meat imports on five consecutive shipments from each approved plant and for each product category, CFIA spokeswoman Maria Kubacki said.
Previously, CFIA conducted one full inspection randomly out of 10 consecutive shipments from each Brazilian plant.
The tougher reviews highlight concerns about the safety of Brazilian meat even among countries that still accept its products. The United States last week banned imports of fresh Brazilian beef after a high percentage of shipments failed safety checks.
Brazilian police raided the premises of global meatpacking companies JBS and BRF in March, as well as dozens of smaller rivals, over suspected bribery of health officials..
Since then, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has re-inspected shipments of raw beef and ready-to-eat food products from Brazil and tested them for pathogens. All beef trimmings are now tested for salmonella and E. coli.
The checks have uncovered problems in fresh beef, including abscesses, blood clots, bones and lymphoid tissue, according to the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service