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Minister of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries Karl Samuda made the announcement this morning at a press briefing after discussions with stakeholders in the industry.
“That means that all imports en route, all stocks of corned beef that were quarantined, all stocks of corned beef in warehouses on the wharf, or elsewhere, destined for distribution across the country can now be released for distribution,” he said.
The ministry imposed a ban on the import of corned beef from Brazil after an emergency meeting on March 20 after reports from Brazilian authorities that several major Brazilian meat processors had been “selling rotten beef and poultry”.
Consumers were urged not to purchase the product and local distributors withdrew corned beef from their shelves. According to the ministry, Brazil supplies 99.5 per cent of the corned beef on the local market.
Samuda indicated today that the decision to lift the ban came as a result of local testing carried out by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) and the Veterinarian Services of the ministry, which found the product to be uncontaminated or “within normal limits”.
Furthermore, teams from the ministry, as well as the Health Ministry, which visited two plants from in Brazil where most of the corned beef destined for Jamaica is manufactured, found that they were in compliance with the necessary standards.
The teams visited the country March 29 to April 2.
“In specific terms, factory number 337 and 226 were found to be in compliance with the international and quality safety standards. All the phytosanitary and other measures required to ensure safety in the consumption of the product manufactured were within the required standards,” he said.
Samuda assured that the ministry will continue to monitor the situation.