The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is taking additional steps to keep the food supply safe in light of the recent investigations of Brazil’s meat and poultry industry.
The steps are being taken in response to an investigation intiated by the Brazilian Federal Police into meat companies, including BRF and JBS, and whether those companies bribed Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Farming inspectors to allow spoiled or adulterated meat to be sold and exported.
In a press release, FSIS stated that while none of the poultry plants implicated in the Brazilian scandal have shipped meat products to the United States, FSIS immediately instituted additional pathogen testing of all shipments of raw beef and ready-to-eat products from Brazil upon hearing reports of the Brazilian investigation. FSIS has also increased its examination of all these products at ports-of-entry across the country. The agency will indefinitely maintain its 100 percent re-inspection and pathogen testing of all lots of FSIS-regulated products imported from Brazil.
"Keeping food safe for American families is our top priority,” stated Mike Young, Acting Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “FSIS has strengthened the existing safeguards that protect the American food supply as a precaution and is monitoring the Brazilian government's investigation closely.”
The FSIS import inspection system -- which includes equivalence determinations, in-country audits, and re-inspection processes -- is designed to ensure that imported meat, poultry, and processed egg products are safe and wholesome. FSIS works closely with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to ensure that these products are safe before they enter the country.
“FSIS will take any additional actions necessary to protect public health,” said Al Almanza, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Food Safety. “It is our mission to keep the food on American dinner tables safe.”