SEOUL, March 20 South Korea will tighten
inspections of imported Brazilian chicken meat and temporarily
bar sales BRF SA's chicken products following a
scandal in Brazil over tainted meat, the agriculture ministry
said in a statement on Monday.
The South Korean ministry said that in future suppliers of
Brazilian chicken will be required to submit a health
certificate issued by the Brazilian government.
More than 80 percent of the 107,400 tonnes of chicken
imported by South Korea last year came from Brazil, and almost
half of that was supplied by BRF.
Police in Brazil raided some of the country's meatpackers on
Friday in an investigation into whether some companies were
paying bribes to conceal unsanitary conditions, and alleged that
some producers had sold rotten and adulterated meat products.
A senior Brazilian agriculture ministry official said,
however, that the issues raised did not pose a risk to consumers
A BRF executive turned himself in for questioning by police
investigating alleged bribery on Saturday, and the company
issued a statement saying some allegations made by police were
false or based on faulty understanding.
"BRF never sold rotten meat," the company said, adding that
mentions of spoiled or contaminated products by police were
specifically tied to smaller meatpackers unrelated to BRF.
Battling its worst outbreak of bird flu, South Korea has
banned U.S. poultry imports after a case of bird flu was
detected at a chicken farm in Tennessee.
(Reporting By Jane Chung; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)