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UAE halts shipments from Brazilian meat plants

The United Arab Emirates has suspended shipments from six Brazilian meat plants and told importers to recall any of their products from local stores.

The six plants are operated by JJZ Alimentos, Frango D M Industria E Comercio De Alimentos, Frigorifico Larissa, Breyer & Cia, Seara Alimentos and BRF, the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment said in an emailed statement.

It cited Brazil’s decision to suspend activities of 21 domestic companies allegedly involved in “unhealthy practices in the production process.”

The six facilities ship products outside of Brazil, while only one of them exports directly to the UAE, the ministry said. Imports are banned for all products from the plants, including frozen beef and poultry, some frozen vegetables, honey and frozen fish, it said.

Importers were told to withdraw these products and destroy them if necessary or return them to the country of origin under the supervision of the food safety authorities in each emirate.

Earlier on Thursday, Saudi Arabia stopped beef and poultry imports from four Brazilian companies over concerns about food safety after accusations that individuals had been bribed to allow sales of rotten and salmonella-tainted meats.

Following a two-year investigation of Brazil’s meatpacking industry, 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.

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