Brazilian authorities say the companies are also alleged to have paid hefty bribes to auditors in exchange for fraudulent sanitary licences.
The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries in a statement said that the companies implicated by the Brazilian authorities supply 99.5 per cent of the corned beef on the local market.
Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Karl Samuda called an emergency meeting with officials from the Ministry of Health, the Consumer Affairs Commission, the Bureau of Standards Jamaica, the National Compliance Regulatory Authority, and the Jamaica Customs Agency on Monday and stressed the importance of safeguarding the welfare of consumers.
According to the statement, the ministry also convened a meeting with major distributors and importers of corned beef.
Besides the temporary ban, the ministry said with immediate effect there would be a “temporary hold will be placed on all permits for the import of corned beef from Brazil” and as a “precautionary measure, all corned beef currently on the shelves will be withdrawn”.
It said also that the National Food Recall Committee will meet immediately to determine next steps and inform when it will be safe to consume the product.
In the interim, the ministry said the Bureau of Standards Jamaica will conduct chemical test profiles to ascertain the contents of corned beef on the market, and the ministry’s Veterinary Services Division will conduct microbiological and residue tests to ascertain whether contaminants are present in the products on the local market.
The ministry also cautioned consumers not to consume corned beef until further notice.
- Countries: Jamaica