The Brazilian Animal Protein Association (Associação Brasileira de Proteína Animal—ABPA) was taken aback by the article published by GlobalMeatNews stating that consignments from Brazil were refused entry to European Union countries (link https://www.globalmeatnews.com/Article/2018/08/15/Brazilian-poultry-rejected-by-European-markets?utm_source=copyright&utm_medium=OnSite&utm_campaign=copyright).
The alarmist tone of the article is an example of an unfortunate protectionist trend that is rampant in the world at large, and is directed against major international competitors. The story would appear to seek to sow disinformation rather than information.
After all, if its aim was to comment upon a sporadic case of Salmonella, then why did GlobalMeatNews not highlight the fact that in the last three months (May to July), seven containers from Brazil were blocked while Poland had 25 RASFF alerts, Thailand eight, and the remaining members of the European Union (not counting Poland, above) had 18 containers blocked in the same period?
ABPA has always been available to GlobalMeatNews for comment and clarification—even going so far as to enable one of the site’s reporters to visit Brazil in 2017. It is extremely odd that Brazil’s side of the story has not been taken into consideration.
For this reason, and because we in Brazil are familiar with the otherwise excellent work of GlobalMeatNews, the story has made the entire Brazilian poultry industry indignant—an industry that has striven to show its real image to the rest of the world.
It should be pointed out that the delisting by the European Union of 20 chicken exporting slaughterhouses, as the EU sanitary authorities have informed the market, is seen by Brazil as a protectionist measure that is not based on sanitary or public health risks. In the face of the rules contained in the World Trade Organization’s Sanitary and Phytosanitary Agreement, the European Union has come up with a disproportionate and inconsistent response.
Brazil questions the criteria used for shipments of salted products (where only 1.2% of salt is added), which have to meet analytical criteria for more than 2,600 types of Salmonella. For the reader to have an idea of the scope of this measure, fresh product (without added salt) is analyzed for only two types of Salmonella.
Finally, it should be clarified that the incidence of Salmonella spp poses no risk for European consumers. Even in the case of European chicken sold as fresh, the product is cooked in the home of the consumer and therefore the risk is minimal (merely boiling for 15 seconds at 70 degrees Celsius is enough to eliminate it). For Brazilian chicken the protections are enhanced, since the product is processed (which inevitably involves cooking and the elimination of Salmonella). So much so that in the past the European authorities inspected and enforced this issue on a random basis.