Supermarkets in the Cayman Islands have removed corned beef products produced in Brazil following reports of several major Brazilian meat processors selling rotten beef and poultry.
According to Brazilian authorities, the meat processors bribed auditors in exchange for fraudulent sanitary licenses.
Cayman’s Department of Environmental Health, in a statement issued Tuesday, requested all importers, wholesalers and retailers who have corned beef products originating from Brazil to withdraw the product from sale “as a precautionary measure until further notice.”
Foster’s Food Fair IGA, Priced Right, Kirk Market and Hurley’s in Cayman confirmed Tuesday they had all stopped selling Brazilian corned beef.
In a statement, Foster’s Food Fair said, “At this time, no other information has been provided from our vendors. All corned beef produced in Brazil has been removed from our shelves until further notice.”
Foster’s has put its “Eat Corned Beef!” campaign, in conjunction with Grace Foods, on hold due to the recall.
Kirk Market also released a statement on the recall, saying it had received no reports of adverse reactions due to consumption of these products, but was removing the items out of an abundance of caution. The store also urged “anyone concerned about a reaction [to] contact a healthcare provider.”
The Cayman stores are asking customers who have bought Brazilian corned beef products to dispose of them or return the item with a receipt for a refund.
According to news reports, Brazilian investigators say health inspectors were bribed to overlook the sale of expired meats. Police also allege that the appearance and smell of expired meats was improved by using chemicals and cheaper products like water and manioc flour.
On Friday, police issued 38 arrest warrants related to the probe, naming several companies, including giant meatpackers JBS and BRF.
The Brazilian government has barred the export of meat from 21 plants being investigated.
Roydell Carter, director of Cayman’s Department of Environmental Health, said in the statement that his department, along with other government agencies, is investigating this matter to determine the next steps and “will keep the public informed of further developments regarding the safety of this food product.”
“We do not yet have all of the information but we wanted to alert the public and be proactive in this situation,” he said.