Corned beef ban sinking in out west
Supermarket operators in western Jamaica have been swift and decisive in their adherence to the ban on corned beef from Brazil, as for the most part, the product was missing from both large establishments and corner shops.
"We hear that is rotten meat we getting from Brazil, so you know people not going near it," said a Montego Bay cookshop operator. "Bully beef and rice was quite popular before the news start spread ... . Nobody ask for it today."
In a statement from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries on Monday, the public was advised not to consume any corned beef products - approximately 99.5 per cent of which is imported from Brazil - until all relevant tests have been carried out.
The statement also said that the National Food Recall Committee will meet to determine the next step and will inform the public when it will be safe to resume consumption of the product.
When the Gleaner team visited supermarkets in western Jamaica, we noticed that while most of the popular brands were missing, at one location they had the Cal and Valrico brands of corned beef on display. However, it was not ascertained whether or not those brands were in any way tied to Brazil.
There were mixed reactions from the public about the ban on corned beef. One person, who admitted that she had a supply of the produce at home, said she was still not sure whether or not she would discard or consume them.
"I bought three and I have already eaten two, and I am still alive, and, well, while I am sure that I am not going to buy any new ones, I am not sure if I am going to throw away the one I still have at home or eat it," said a Montego Bay woman, who asked not to be identified.
However, for Rockelia Clarke, a self-confessed corned beef lover from Irwin, St James, she is willing to give up the product for her health's sake.
"Even though I have a love for corned beef, I am satisfied (to give it up) as long as it is for our health, because if you look at the cost for it, which is $400, it does not equate to a doctor's bill," said Clarke. "Right now I want to cut off the tinned stuff, so it is mostly fish I eat, and also chicken, but not all the time."