The Brazilian chicken scandal raised eyebrows when it was reported that an investigation is underway over allegations that producers bribed government officials to approve the sale and export of rotten meat. The two-year investigation resulted in 33 officials being dismissed. Brazil is one of the largest meat exporters in the world, exporting chicken and beef to 150 countries.
In light of these allegations, South Africa has taken precautionary measures by banning any possible meat imports from Brazil. Several countries have also banned the imports of Brazilian meat. However, China has lifted the ban.
According to Bloomberg, it is alleged that acid was used to mask the smell of spoilt meat.
“It is not known how many consignments may have already left Brazil and are on their way to South Africa, however, DAFF is in the process of ensuring that the establishments implicated are suspended from exporting meat to South Africa until the Brazilian Veterinary Authority have fully investigated the matter and can give the necessary assurances for compliance to the South African requirements for importation of meat into South Africa”.
“Consignments arriving at the ports of entry in South Africa may be tested microbiologically for organisms such as salmonella” Said the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) in a statement.
The Brazilian chicken scandal is not the only chicken problem South Africa is experiencing, the buying of dumped chicken by retailers in South Africa poses a threat to the health of the consumer and also poses a threat to jobs. The European Union (EU) is the biggest supplier of dumped chicken. The price reduction of the meat results in loses of jobs, it was reported that 13 of Rainbow Chicken’s farms on the Durban-to-Pietermaritzburg N3 route are up for sale.
“We’ve just seen with the Brazilian meat scandal what can go wrong. And in a country where we have unemployment of 27% and rising, it makes no sense for retailers to support the European industry at the cost of their customer base”, said Mike Schussler, a chief economist at Economists.co.za.
In April 2013 South Africa was involved in a major scandal when supermarkets were exposed in a meat labelling scandal. Stellenbosch University found that nearly 60% of 139 products tested included the DNA of animal species not listed on the food labels.
“Our study confirms the mislabeling of processed meats is commonplace in South Africa and not only violates food-labelling regulations, but poses economic, religious, ethical and health impacts”, said professor Louw Hoffman in a City Press interview in April 2013.
There are no illnesses of people reported in regards to the Brazil meat scandal.