BRASILIA: Brazilian firm BRF S.A., one of the world’s top poultry exporters, is asking the Philippine government to clarify its decision to stop accepting shipments from three of its accredited meat-packing plants.
“As one of the biggest poultry exporters in the world, BRF takes product safety and quality very seriously. BRF understands that three of our plants were temporarily suspended on July 27 after one specific shipment tested positive for salmonella,” BRF said in a statement.
“We are cooperating actively with the Philippine authorities through the Brazilian embassy to clarify the type of salmonella found in it is not harmful to health,” it added.
BRF noted that there are around 2,600 types of salmonella, commonly found in food products of animal and vegetables, but most of which are easily killed through proper cooking.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol signed Memorandum Order (MO) 30 authorizing the temporary ban on the importation of beef and poultry meat from 25 Brazilian meat establishments.
Piñol made the decision after several shipments of beef and poultry meat from 25 accredited foreign-meat establishments (FMEs) in Brazil tested positive for salmonella.
“Memorandum Circular 9-2008-5, Series of 2008, provides the ‘Guidelines on the Assessment of Microbiological Quality of Fresh, Chilled, and Frozen Meat’, wherein the microbiological limit for salmonella spp. must be absent in 25 grams sample,” MO 30 read.
The agriculture chief has also suspended the accreditation of the 25 FMEs in Brazil for one year.
“Moreover, all shipments shall be attached with Certificate of Analysis attesting negative for salmonella spp. and other infectious biological contaminants with SPS [sanitary and phytosanitaty] implications and shall be duly certified by the Competent Veterinary Officer of Brazil,” Piñol added.
The 25 suspended FMEs include those affiliated with JBS S/A, one of the world’s top beef exporter; Seara Aimentos LTDA, Minerva S.A., Friboi LTDA, Bertin LTDA, Cooperativa Central Aurora Alimentos, Frigoestrela S.A, C. Vale-Cooperativa Agroindustrial and Copacol-Cooperativa Agroindustrial Consolata.
Out of the 25 FMEs three are affiliated with BRF, namely, those with establishment numbers SIF 1001, SIF 103 and SIF 2014.
Piñol earlier announced a blanket ban on all meat imports from Brazil. He told the BusinessMirror in an interview that he will amend MO 30 to formalize his pronouncement.