No blanket ban on Brazilian meat imports – DA chief

July 15, 2017 - 12:29 AM
Sao Paolo butchery
a butchery in Sao Paolo, Brazil. REUTERS

MANILA – The Philippines is not contemplating a blanket ban on meat importations from Brazil despite the salmonella outbreak in that country, because it has identified the single supplier that was the source of the tainted meat, the Agriculture department said.

“We have discussed this and the salmonella tainted meat actually came from just one supplier so we will ban that supplier, we will ban that facility. The other entire test conducted in other facilities turned out negative for salmonella so there will be no total ban; it will be just a ban on that facility that exported the contaminated beef,” Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol told Bloomberg TV Philippines in an interview with Regina Lay.

Piñol was asked about the possibility of a blanket ban on Brazilian meat imports following reports that some 500,000 kgs of Brazilian meat were found to be tainted with salmonella.

Reminded that Brazil “has had recurring issues with their meat imports,” including a temporary ban of their exports to the US and the arrest of dozens of food inspectors for apparently accepting bribes and falsifying sanitary permits,” Piñol nonetheless noted that the Philippine government has been rather strict in regulating the entry of meat imports, so those same strict standards should help prevent the entry of tainted meat.

Piñol noted that, as manifestation of such “very strict measures especially on meat,” the Philippines “actually enjoys the distinction of being the only country in this part of the world that does not have foot and mouth disease.” It is free from avian flu as well, he noted.

“So we’re very strict and I would like to assure the public that before we decide on whether to accept importation or exports from a country or not, we actually conduct a lot of actual tests of the facility and of the product before we do it,” Piñol added.