UAE bans Brazilian meat, poultry

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Staff Report

The Ministry of Climate Change and Environment, MoCCAE, has taken a number of precautionary measures on imported food products from Brazil, following the information received by the Ministry that the Brazilian authorities have suspended the activity of 21 Brazilian companies on the grounds of unhealthy practices in the production processes of those companies.

The ministry indicated that it is communicating with regional and international organisations to ensure the safety of the food products being imported to the UAE. Through its early notification system on food products, MoCCaE identified six facilities which export its products outside of Brazil.

Preliminary information indicated that only one Brazilian facility is exporting to the UAE. In order to take necessary precautionary measures, the ministry prepared a list of the banned Brazilian companies and their products, including frozen beef and poultry, some frozen vegetables, honey and frozen fish.

It also issued a circular with the ID number printed on the food card of these products to all local authorities, the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, the municipalities of Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Qaiwain, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah, to ensure that the country’s markets are free of these products and that importers are instructed to immediately 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.

The ministry confirmed that food shipments from the listed Brazilian companies are not allowed to be released. The ministry calls upon the public not to buy or consume Brazilian products bearing the identification numbers, noting that these products can be easily identified through those numbers.

There are about 5,000 Brazilian companies exporting their food products to more than 160 countries around the world. This is the first case of irregularities in Brazilian food products.

The MoCCaE emphasises that all food products in the UAE, whether locally produced or imported, are safe for consumption as they are strictly monitored by the ministry and relevant local authorities. MoCCaE reaffirms that there is constant coordination with concerned local authorities in the UAE to ensure the safety of all imported and traded food products.