Bacterial contamination in Brazilian poultry products has led to the highest level of recalls of chicken and poultry products across Europe in the past 15 years.
Figures released by business consultants Stericycle Expert Solutions show that bacterial contamination has accounted for more than 90% of all food alerts in the second quarter of this year.
The company reported in its “Recall and Notification Index” that 184 products from Brazil were recalled during the period, followed by India (68), Turkey (60) and China (51). This amounted to 68.5% of total EU food recalls.
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The EU Commission has mulled over banning imports from Brazil. Its Health and Food Security Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis wrote earlier this year to Brazilian Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi complaining that the country had done nothing to regain the trust of international partners.
Brazilian authorities raided 6 meat processing plants in March on suspicion of some companies selling rotten meat. 3 abattoirs were closed down, 21 plants placed under government inspection and a number of government officials were suspended on the grounds of possible corruption.
Farzad Henareh, European vice president at Stericycle Expert Solutions, said: “The ongoing investigation of food inspection practices in Brazil continues to have a serious knock-on effect for EU imports.
“However, recalls relating to food originating from other countries indicates that the industry still needs to employ the most rigorous approach to food safety, and the risks remain high. Adherence to the strict regulatory standards in the EU is an absolute must.”
There were 223 recalls of poultry products in Europe in the last quarter, with Spain having the largest number (70), making it the only European country in the top 5 . Of these recalls, salmonella contamination was mainly responsible.