Rotten beef sold by top companies in Brazil

If left unresolved, the ban will inevitably have a huge impact on the Chinese beef market, Beef Central was told.

IFA president Joe Healy said the latest shocking revelations on the failure of Brazil to meet European Union standards and controls in the meat sector raises very serious concerns around European Union meat imports.

President Michel Temer was to hold crisis talks today with his cabinet and foreign ambassadors over allegations that corrupt Brazilian producers have been selling rotten meat around the world for years.

The authorities did not say where tainted products had been found, but noted, in a news conference in the southern city of Curitiba, that carcinogenic substances had in some cases been used to mask the odor of bad meat. He didn't cite companies by name or specify how long the suspension would last.

The president said that only 33 of the 11,000 inspectors at the agriculture ministry were being investigated for allegedly taking bribes to overlook meatpackers using chemicals to improve the appearance and smell of expired meat.

Investigators said employees at the food-processing giants JBS and BRF paid federal inspectors to ignore problems with meat. Not all the companies being investigated - more than 30 - committed all the alleged faults, the judge responsible for overseeing the investigation said in a court order. Just three of those were shut down by the Ministry of Agriculture - one owned by BRF over salmonella in chicken, and two small further-processing plants owned by independent operators. China, whose diplomat sat beside Temer in the outing, is said to already have temporarily suspended imports. "The first is that we chose to speed up the auditing process at the sites mentioned by the Federal Police's investigation", said Temer.

Nearly all of the investigations were focussed on just one Brazilian state.

Shares of Brazilian meat-packers plunged Monday. JBS has been inappropriately connected to this story. According to one of the restaurant managers himself, Rodrigo Carvalho, the concept of "Brazilian" barbecue is simply a marketing ploy.

"As a responsible retailer, we take matters of food quality and safety very seriously".

"The federal government wants to reiterate its confidence in the quality of our national product".

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