Major Flaws Found in Brazil's Beef Hygiene System09 May 2014
BRAZIL – Brazilian meat safety standards have come under fire after a USDA audit found no standard guidelines on Specified Risk Material (SRM) in cattle.
Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) officers concluded a beef safety inspection of the plants of the 14 states awaiting US approval to export last month, highlighting the lack of a clear definition of SRM and unsatisfactory sanitary measures.
The infringements are all in breach of USDA requirements and should jeopardise proposed rules to allow importation of fresh and frozen beef from 14 Brazilian states, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association President Bob McCan said this week.
Five meat plants have been implicated with not fully enforcing food safety protocols required by the USDA. Standards of sanitation were unsatisfactory, with insufficient measures to prevent cross-contamination of bovine carcasses.
Further infringements were made on Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points system. Unresolved drug residue violations have also alarmed NCBA specialists.
The findings did not surprise NCBA chief veterinarian Dr Kathy Simmons, who said: “Our members have significant concerns with Brazil’s ability and willingness to meet established compliance requirements.
“Most alarming to me is the inconsistent application and implementation of Specified Risk Material requirements throughout the system and a history of unresolved drug residue violations.”
The NCBA President’s message was that, while free open trade was supported by the US cattle industry, it must be based on sound science.
“We are more convinced than ever, after reading this report, that Brazil is not capable of holding its industry to the same standards we hold ourselves to,” said Mr McCan.
“If Brazil cannot manage their food safety equivalency standards, how can we trust that they have the safeguards to protect animal health?”
The NCBA will continue to oppose the rule to import Brazilian beef.
TheMeatSite News Desk