Beef, chicken imported from Brazil safe: Veterinary Dept

FAIRUZ MOHD SHAHAR


PUTRAJAYA: The Veterinary Service Department has said Malaysia does not import Brazilian beef or chicken from any of the 21 plants currently under investigation by Brazilian authorities for allegedly selling expired meat.

"Those plants are not included in the list of factories that have been approved by the department (to export meat to Malaysia),” said its director-general, Datuk Dr Kamarudin Md Isa.

Meanwhile, Kamarudin received a courtesy call from a Brazilian embassy representative on Wednesday, who explained the integrity issues surrounding the expired meat scandal which has engulfed Brazilian meat exporters.

"The Brazilian Embassy informed us that 21 plants are being investigated and closely monitored by the authorities. The 21 plants have also been suspended from exporting.

"The approved plants (for export to Malaysia) have undergone audit inspection by the Veterinary Service Department and the Islamic Development Department. They have also met the standards of Good Manufacturing Practice, food safety, Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point and halal-ness," he said.

Kamarudin added that the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services (MAQIS) also carries out health certificate and physical examinations of each consignment of beef and chicken at every entry point.

Furthermore, the department and MAQIS will step up monitoring by collecting samples from each consignment from Brazil and send them to the department's lab. This is to ensure that the imported beef and chicken meet food safety standards," he said.

It has been reported that several countries have banned the import of beef and chicken from Brazil due to an alleged corruption scandal which saw the export of expired meat.

Kamarudin added that the department has made a request to the Brazilian Embassy for quality tests on all plants that have been approved by the department.

"The department is following the latest developments on this situation and will take further action, when necessary, to ensure that imported beef and chicken are safe," he added.

Last year, Malaysia imported 4,183 metric tonnes of beef and 9,742 metric tonnes of chicken from Brazil.