EU: Brazilian meat inspection ‘compromised’
By Oscar Rousseau, GlobalMeatNews
Brazil has a system that could, in theory, guarantee food reaching EU consumers is safe, said the European Commission audit. However, it has identified “shortcomings” in a system already under intense pressure.
It found that Brazil’s control system for beef, horse and chicken was capable of providing the guarantees the EU wants, but many systems, barring beef, were not up to scratch.
Audits that should check meat is okay to be sold to the EU were “not effective” in detecting or acting upon non-compliance, the audit found.
The report concluded that:
• staff in meat factories were not always free from “conflicts of interest”;
• authorities “failed” to ensure all chicken slaughterhouses were under supervision of official veterinarians;
• Brazilian officials signed export certificates without being able to verify the accuracy of traceability or inspection claims;
• a list of establishments eligible to export to the EU – which Brazil has to send to the European Commission – was not accurate or up-to-date.
The European Commission carried out its audit in Brazil from 2-12 May 2017 and the results were published at the end of September. The probe covered 13 slaughterhouses – six for beef, five for poultry and two for horsemeat – across six Brazilian states.
While the EU does not recommend suspending trade with Brazil over the so-called shortcomings, 12 recommendations have been sent to the Brazilian Minister of Agriculture to consider. These include ensuring the industry system for checking salmonella presence is equivalent to that in the EU, and enhancing measures to prevent conflicts of interest for meat factory workers.
‘Litany of failures’ ...
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