The latest phase of Operation Weak Flesh has involved 270 federal policy and 21 federal agricultural tax auditors, who performed 91 court orders across the country.
The investigation is also looking at whether a number of private laboratories covered up the existence of salmonella in products from BRF. Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi said the latest phase of investigations dealt with events in 2014 and 2015.
“These are things of the past and we want to clearly separate the past from the present and defends the Ministry’s point of view that we are doing things correctly and transparently.” Brazil is currently modernising and over-hauling its antiquated food safety system, including a plant to centralise inspections at abattoirs.
The latest actions came in the same week as the European Union were expected to delist 7 Brazilian meat and poultry plants from its list of authorised EU suppliers in response to concerns linked to food safety.
It follows an examination of information from the EU’s Trade Control and Expert System (TRACES). The facilities include 3 plants owned by global meat giant JBS; 3 owned by Brazil’s third largest pork and poultry processor Aurora Alimentos and another leading Brazilian poultry establishment.