Tue | Oct 24, 2017

Ban on corned beef lifted

Published:Wednesday | April 5, 2017 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju

A regional sales representative for one of the largest and most diversified global food chains in the world has welcomed yesterday's announcement of the lifting of the two-week ban on the sale and distribution of corned beef in light of the ongoing financial toll on the company's coffers.

"There are shipments that we had to divert from some ports and also still diverting from some ports because they had not lifted the ban and we don't want them to destroy a container once it gets there. So we are just trying to use our logistics teams in Brazil to reroute the shipments, send them back to Brazil, until we have clearance from the regulators in each country," John Huggins, sales manager - Caribbean and Central America for Marfood USA, a subsidiary of the Marfrig Group told The Gleaner.

"We are optimistic that we are going to be able to release shipments to Jamaica, at least in the first case. And we believe that in the same way, other countries will look on to see the visit by Jamaica and that the Jamaican authorities are satisfied that the processes and systems in Brazil are robust and well intended to protect the safety of all our consumers," Huggins said yesterday after Karl Samuda, minister of industry, commerce, agriculture and fisheries, announced the lifting of the ban.

"We have been able to establish that the sources of Brazilian corned beef imported into Jamaica were not compromised and we are now in a position to resume importation of corned beef from Brazil. The ban on canned corned beef imported into Jamaica from Brazil is now officially lifted," Minister Samuda, announced.

The decision, he explained, was informed by the findings of the technical team led by Dr Osbil Watson, head of the Veterinary Division in the ministry. The team visited two processing plants, one of which is owned by Marfood. But Huggins, who also made the trip, was never privy to any of the findings of the work undertaken by the experts in various aspects of food safety.

LASCO and Grace have said that they have resumed sales of corned beef.

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com