The agriculture department has partially lifted the temporary ban on the importation of mechanically-deboned meat (MDM) of poultry from Brazil.
According to Memorandum Order No. 42 released by the office of Department of Agriculture (DAR) Sec. William Dar on Monday, the agency conducted a review of the measure implemented by its Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA) in prevention of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the infection control plans.
It can be recalled that DA through the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) has requested information concerning the quality control procedures of the Brazilian government in processing chicken products for export to countries outside Brazil including the Philippines.
“The government authorities of Brazil have submitted documentary requirements to demonstrate establishment and ensure implementation of plans for COVID-19 prevention, infection control, and occupational safety and health relative to the operation of foreign meat establishments (FMEs),” according to memorandum order.
DA-BAI released the ban on importation on August 14 following claims that the exported poultry products from Brazil had traces of COVID-19 according to reports from China.
Dar added that the importation of MDM is subject to some conditions such as only FMEs without COVID-19 positive meat plant workers shall be allowed to export poultry meat.
The additional attestation shall be included in the veterinary health certificate that “The meat was handled and processed in facilities with functional food safety management system and where stringent hygiene and sanitation measures are practiced”.
The poultry products must carry a safe handling label; and pursuant to DA Circular No.9, series of 2015, all importation must be for the sole use of accredited meat processor in the manufacture of heat-treated products.
All shipments into the country not complying with foregoing conditions shall be confiscated by DA Veterinary Quarantine Officers/ Inspectors at all major parts of entry, DA added.