A woman watches meat at a supermarket in Recife, Brazil, on March 20, 2017. Brazil's Agricultural Ministry announced on Monday the temporary suspension of exporting products by some of Brazil's largest meat-packing companies. (Xinhua/Bobby Fabisak/JC Imagem/AGENCIA ESTADO)
RIO DE JANEIRO, March 20 (Xinhua) -- Brazil's Agricultural Ministry announced on Monday the temporary suspension of exporting products by some of Brazil's largest meat-packing companies.
Twenty-one meat-packing companies are being investigated for selling rotten meat. Several countries, including Chile and China, and the European Union have decided to temporarily suspend import of the Brazilian meat products.
Brazilian President Michel Temer said the same day that the problems found in the frozen meat sector, during police raids on Friday, only affected a small part of the sector.
Speaking to a crowd of businessmen at the American Chamber of Commerce in Sao Paulo, Temer admitted that the case could severely impact one of Brazil's main exports.
The operation carried out by police on Friday found that some of Brazil's largest food companies, including the JBS group and Brasil Foods, had committed fraud in order to hide foodstuffs beyond their sell-by date.
On Sunday, in an effort to show his confidence in the meat sector, Temer dined out with a group of ministers and ambassadors at a "churrascaria," a traditional Brazilian meat restaurant in Brasilia.
However, a report by the daily O Estado de Sao Paulo said that the restaurant uses beef imported from Argentina, Uruguay and Australia.