|Saturday, May 27, 2017

Brazil meat scandal: Affected companies not approved to export to Singapore 

SINGAPORE, Mar 20: Singapore does not import meat from any of the companies involved in the meat scandal in Brazil, as none of the affected firms is approved to export its products to Singapore, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said on Monday (Mar 20).

In a statement issued to the media, AVA added that it has stepped up surveillance of imported meat and meat products from Brazil and that it is “monitoring the situation closely”.

The regulator said meat and meat products can only be imported into Singapore from AVA-accredited sources, which involves two levels of checks.

“AVA will first assess the robustness of an exporting country’s national animal health and food safety system and the authorities’ powers to enforce food safety requirements, such
as minimising microbial contamination and chemical residues,” it said.

It added that if the country has been approved as a source of meat supply, then each meat establishment within the country will be evaluated to ensure they meet Singapore’s food safety requirements before it can be exported here.

Upon arrival into Singapore, every meat consignment is physically checked for spoilage. Its health certification will be verified at the point of import, AVA said. Samples are also taken for laboratory testing, including tests for food safety hazards – such as chemical residues, antibiotics and microbial pathogens – as well as authenticity, ensuring that the meat species match the species declared on the label.

“Products that fail our tests will not be allowed to be sold. To date, there have not been any significant instances of non-compliance in meat shipments from Brazil,” AVA said.

“AVA is also working with our meat importers to monitor the situation and to be prepared to ramp up alternative sources, if necessary,” it said.

Brazil’s ambassador to Singapore, Flavio Damico, also told Channel NewsAsia earlier on Monday that the meat scandal does not affect exports to Singapore.