PRESS RELEASE – The Government of Saint Lucia has removed temporary restrictions on corned beef from Brazil.
On March 22nd 2017, following international concerns relating to the unwholesomeness of meat and meat products from Brazil and the confirmation of a criminal investigation named “Operation Weak Flesh” by the Brazilian Government, the Ministry of Health & Wellness, in Collaboration with the Veterinary and Livestock Division of the ministry of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs Division of the Ministry of Commerce, instituted a temporary suspension on the importation of corned beef from Brazil.
Since the introduction of this measure, the aforementioned government agencies have continued to monitor the situation through continuous analysis of information from various authoritative sources including the Brazilian Authorities.
Chief Environmental Health Officer, Wenn Gabriel spoke on the outcome of a joint meeting to discuss the recent ban on corned beef.
“It was concluded that the current risk of exposure of the Saint Lucia public to unwholesome meat and meat products from Brazil was low. This conclusion was based on the following:
1 No meat processing establishment under investigation in ‘Operation Weak Flesh’ had exported corned beef or any other meat or meat products to Saint Lucia over the last six (6) months.
2 Following weeks of investigation involving thorough inspections of food outlets throughout Saint Lucia, no corned beef products associated with the suspect batches were found on the market.
3 Information received from the Brazilian government and other regional authorities support the finding that there is not a significant risk of exposure to the unwholesome corned beef and meat products in question.
Given the above, the Government of Saint Lucia has withdrawn the temporary restriction on corned beef from Brazil and has released all corned beef which had been placed on detention.
Notwithstanding, the Ministry will continue to monitor this situation and work collaboratively with local and regional partners to ensure public health and safety.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness wishes to thank all stakeholders, including the importers and the general public for their co-operation and support in this matter.