Brazilian meat, European Commission hesitates, but health ministry steps in with strengthened controls


At the emergency meeting with member states on March 27, the Commission made it known that it did not intend to take action on Brazilian meat already imported (from Brazil) before the news about Operation ‘carne fraca‘ emerged. Each person at home decides what to do with it. (1)

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health in Italy is proceeding at a good pace for the best guarantee of food safety and the health of citizens. In a memo issued on March 31, the Directorate General for Food Hygiene and Safety and Nutrition (2) offered operational instructions.

Therefore, all fresh Brazilian meat that has come into Italy from the establishments under investigation must be subjected to the following controls:

– verification of identity, labeling, hygienic condition, and state of preservation,
– analysis on Salmonella (enteritidis, tiphymurium and monophasic avariant) and Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC),
– Analysis for ascorbic acid and soric acid. (3)

If the outcome is unfavorable, the consignment must be considered as not complying with the food safety parameters prescribed by current regulations. (4) And therefore excluded from use in the human nutrition supply chain.



(1) At the 27.3.17 meeting of the Standing Committee for the Food Chain and Animal Health, the Commission provided harmonized guidance only on controls on the “import of fresh meat from the entire territory of Brazil. Leaving to individual member states the choice of any measures on meat already imported before the restrictive measures taken as a result of the initial news about Operation ‘carne fraca’ came into force
(2) Director General Dr. Giuseppe Ruocco. Office 2, Food Hygiene and Export, Head Dr. Pietro Noè
(3) Analysis not required where the same parameters have already been analyzed in BIP inspection at the time of importation
(4) Pursuant to reg. EC 178/02, Article 14