The temporary ban on chicken imports from Brazil stays as the Department of Agriculture through the Bureau of Animal Industry (DA-BAI) is awaiting reply from that country’s Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Supply (MAPA), particularly on needed documents related to coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) prevention and control procedures among Brazilian factory workers in chicken processing facilities.
To recall, the DA-BAI imposed a temporary ban on Brazilian poultry products after China reported that it found traces of the Covid-19 in chicken products from said South American country.
The DA-BAI cited the rising number of Covid-19 confirmed cases in Brazil that included workers in meat processing facilities.
In a recent letter to Brazil MAPA chief veterinary officer Dr. Geraldo Marcos de Moraes, DA-BAI director Ronnie Domingo said that the Philippines is committed to resolving the issue, noting that the ban on Brazilian chicken products was issued as a precautionary measure to ensure the safety and health of Filipino consumers.
“The Philippines greatly values its long-standing harmonious relations with Brazil. We look forward to your prompt response,” Domingo said in his letter to Brazil’s Moraes.
Brazil’s MAPA was requested to submit documentary requirements of the following:
• List of foreign meat establishments (FMEs) exporting to the Philippines, which reported Covid-19 cases, since March 2020;
• Copies of MAPA-issued national guidelines on the control and prevention of Covid-19 cases in meat establishments (including protocol for resumption of operations;
• MAPA procedures or protocols in monitoring Covid-19 cases in meat facilities;
• Certified copies of food safety manuals (particularly on their protocol for Covid-19) of BRF (a Brazilian food company), Seara and Aurora FMEs, that were reported banned by China;
• Current rate of Covid testing on meat establishment workers; and
• Revised guidelines for the production, packaging and storage of poultry mechanically deboned meat (MDM).
The Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. earlier asked the DA to reconsider the ban on poultry imports, including mechanically deboned meat, from Brazil as these are used as raw materials for their canned meat products.
To date, Brazil has the world’s second-worst Covid-19 outbreak, reporting more than 3.2 million cases and more than 105,000 deaths, since the start of the pandemic.
Brazil currently accounts for nearly 20 percent of the country’s poultry meat imports. Others are sourced from the US and Europe. (PNA)