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Finnish meat providers investigate Brazilian products for spoiled goods

Two of Brazil's major meat producers are suspected of bribing officials to overlook the sale and export of rotten and salmonella-contaminated beef and poultry. Brazilian meat has been sold in Finnish grocery stores and restaurants.

Raaka, kypsentämätön pihvi naisen kämmenellä.
Image: Fotosearch

Brazil’s meat industry is under heavy scrutiny amid allegations that two of Brazil’s largest meat producers have bribed officials for years to approve the sale and export of rotten and salmonella-contaminated beef and poultry. Some of the meat was exported to Europe.

The Finnish Ministry of Agriculture and the Environment has stated it is taking the issue seriously and will investigate if spoiled meat has been brought to Finland.

In Finland, Brazilian meat has been sold in stores belonging to S Group.

”Our retailers have had two Brazilian products in their selections, tenderloin and sirloin. These products can be traced all the way back to their slaughterhouses. We are evaluating this production chain and assessing if there’s anything suspicious in the other end,” says S Group’s Managing Director Ilkka Alarotu.

According to Alarotu, S Group tests the meat it sells for salmonella and freshness on a regular basis. The tests have shown nothing out of the ordinary.

”Overall, Brazilian meat is just a small fraction of all the meat sold in Finnish stores,” Alarotu says.

Caterers prefer Finnish meat

Brazilian poultry has been used by catering company Fazer Amica and S Group restaurants Amarillo and Fransmanni. The latter two have also used Brazilian beef.

Fazer Amica stopped using Brazilian poultry in their lunch menus in the beginning of the year. 

”We don’t use Brazilian meat at all. Over 90 per cent of our meat is Finnish, and the rest is game or sheep. This is based on our long-term meat procurement plan,” says Timo Ståhlström, Vice President of Procurement at Fazer Food Services.

Ståhlström says Fazer Amica used to stock three poultry products from Brazil, but replaced them for domestic alternatives.

Managing Director Eero Raappana of wholesaler Meira Nova estimates that Brazilian meat products formed 0,9 per cent of total meat consumption during the first two months of 2017. Meira Nova is in charge of meat procurement for S Group.

Meira Nova has stocked five different products using Bralizian meat sold by meat producer Snellmann among others.

Managing Director Raappana says that because Brazilian meat is such a marginal product, it could easily be dropped from Meira Nova's selections.

”We definitely need more information about where the spoiled meat is from. Brazil is a major meat producer and labelling the entire country’s meat production bad is scary.”

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