HONG KONG, March 21 (Xinhua) -- The food safety authority of China's Hong Kong said Tuesday that it has banned the import of frozen meat from Brazil as a "precautionary measure" after the Brazilian meat scandal.
"The investigation by the Brazilian authorities is ongoing. The center has therefore decided, as a precautionary measure, to temporarily suspend the import of frozen and chilled meat and poultry meat from Brazil," said a spokesman of the Center for Food Safety (CFS) of Hong Kong's Food and Environmental Hygiene Department.
The Brazilian police uncovered last week a massive meat adulteration scheme involving some of the country's largest meat producers. According to the police, the adulterated meat was sold in the domestic market as well as exported.
Hong Kong's import ban is with an immediate effect, and the CFS has notified the Brazilian authorities about it, the spokesman said, adding that the CFS will also alert the local trade and advise the public to cook meat thoroughly before consumption.
"The CFS will continue to liaise with the Brazilian authorities to obtain detailed information for further assessment. Furthermore, surveillance on meat and poultry meat from Brazil will be enhanced to safeguard food safety and public health," he said.
Under its routine food surveillance program, the CFS has taken during the past three years 17,060 meat samples at import, wholesale and retail levels for chemical and microbiological tests. Among them, there were 36 unsatisfactory samples, all of which were not related to the quality of Brazilian frozen and chilled meat or poultry meat.
"The CFS will continue to closely monitor the case and take appropriate follow-up actions," said the spokesman.