Jamaica lifts corned beef ban
Jerome Reynolds, Acting Assistant Editor - Radio
Agriculture and Commerce Minister Karl Samuda has announced that the temporary ban on the import and sale of corned beef from Brazil has been lifted with immediate effect.
Speaking at a press conference this morning, Samuda indicated that a Jamaican technical team visited Brazil last week and inspected facilities which export most of the corned beef imported by the island.
He said the facilities were found to be in compliance with international standards.
Ninety-nine-point-five per cent of the corned beef supplied to Jamaica comes from Brazil.
Samuda stated that the results of tests on samples of corned beef on the local market conducted by the Bureau of Standards and other agencies found that the items met normal standards.
The agriculture and commerce minister said he decided to lift the ban based on these factors.
Samuda said the ministry will continue to monitor the situation.
Meanwhile, Samuda also rejected claims that the ministry overeacted in imposing the temporary ban.
At least two local importers and distributors had claimed that their own investigations showed that their suppliers were not implicated in the contaminated corned beef scandal.
After Jamaica imposed the ban, the Brazilian Embassy in St Andrew reported that none of the 21 companies implicated in the rotten meat probe in the South American country has exported to Jamaica in the past 60 days.
Noting that companies that export to Jamaica have been complying with all licensing and health regulations, the embassy said Jamaica should consider reviewing the ban.
However, Samuda said he had a responsibility to act in the best interest of consumers.