RIO DE JANEIRO, July 3 (Xinhua) -- The Brazilian government confirmed on Wednesday that Britain has sent back to Brazil 16 containers of poultry due to the presence of salmonella in the shipments.
According to Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina Dias, the shipments totaled 1,400 tons of poultry, which were returned over a 15-month period.
The confirmation was made after a local website Reporter Brasil ran a story on the incident. According to the site, some of the shipments belonged to the leading meatpackers in the country, JBS and BRF Foods.
In addition, the site reported that, after being refused by Britain, the poultry was sold in the Brazilian market. Brazil has a higher maximum limit for traces of salmonella than the European Union nations.
Dias did not deny the information. The final destination of the poultry sent back is a responsibility of the meatpacking companies, and if the product is in line with Brazilian regulations, it can be sold in the country, said Dias.
In addition, Dias said, cooking the poultry would eliminate any risk of contamination.