Officials: Corned beef now safe to eat

Cayman’s Department of Environmental Health announced Wednesday that it has lifted a recent recall of corned beef products from Brazil.

The ban, instituted on March 21, was put into place due to fears of contaminated meat, and a multi-agency committee was set up to monitor the situation and protect the public interest.

That committee, consisting of representatives from the Department of Environmental Health, Department of Public Health, Department of Agriculture and the Ministry of Health, concluded that the danger from contamination has passed.

Roydell Carter, director of the Department of Environmental Health, issued a statement about the committee’s decision.

“After review of recent relevant product documentations, the committee is now satisfied that the corned beef products within the Cayman Islands are safe to consume,” Mr. Carter said in a press release. “It is anticipated that the product will be readily available again in the local supermarkets.”

The Department of Environmental Health had previously requested all importers, wholesalers and retailers who had corned beef products originating from Brazil to withdraw those products from markets as a precautionary measure.

GraceKennedy Ltd., a company based in Kingston, Jamaica, was one of the parties that complied with the order to withdraw all beef products originating from Brazil from sale in the Cayman Islands. GraceKennedy stated at the time that its suppliers have always conformed to internationally recognized food safety standards.

GraceKennedy also stated that its corned beef suppliers in Brazil have consistently qualified for the British Retail Consortium Standard, but it worked with local retailers to remove its corned beef products from shelves in Jamaica and the Cayman Islands until the health scare had passed.

The worldwide recall of Brazilian beef products began last month after police arrested 38 people in connection with the alleged bribery of health officials who issued certificates for exports of tainted meat. Court documents list 21 companies involved in the scheme, some of whom are major beef and poultry meat exporters.

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