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CAIRO, March 23 Egypt has halted Brazilian meat
imports until they are confirmed to be safe for consumption, an
Egyptian government spokesman told Reuters on Thursday.
The announcement follows an investigation by Brazil into
their meatpacking industry. Brazilian police have accused more
than 100 people, mostly health inspectors, of taking bribes for
allowing the sale of rancid products, falsifying export
documents or failing to inspect meatpacking plants.
But Egypt’s agriculture ministry spokesperson, Hamid Abdel
Dayim, stopped short of announcing an outright ban on the
"We have not stopped imports, only delayed them until the
situation is clearer. We are following up on the situation with
the companies and butchers that we deal with," he told Reuters.
In recent days Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Japan, Canada,
Mexico, Switzerland China, the European Union, South Korea and
Chile have announced partial or all-out bans on Brazilian meat
On Friday, Brazil's police named BRF SA and JBS
SA, along with dozens of smaller rivals, in a
two-year probe into how meatpackers allegedly paid off
inspectors to overlook practices including processing rotten
meat, shipping exports with traces of salmonella and simply not
carrying out inspections of plants.
The companies have denied any wrongdoing and authorities
have said that no cases of death or illness have been linked to
the tainted meat investigation.
(Reporting by Ehab Farouk; Writing by Asma Alsharif; Editing by
Dominic Evans and Vin Shahrestani)