SEOUL, March 21 (Reuters) - Seoul will lift a temporary ban on sales of chicken meat from Brazil’s BRF SA after the South American nation said shipments to South Korea did not contain tainted products.
A scandal over contaminated meat has prompted some countries to suspend imports of meat products from the world’s biggest beef and poultry exporter.
South Korea’s agriculture ministry said in a statement on Tuesday that the Brazilian government notified it the day before that tainted meat from around 20 meat processing units was not exported to South Korea, although it went to other places such as the European Union and Hong Kong.
The move comes a day after South Korea’s agriculture ministry imposed a temporary sales ban of chicken meat products from BRF.
Police in Brazil last week raided some of the country’s meatpackers in an investigation into whether companies had bribed health inspectors to overlook unsanitary practices including processing rotten meat.
A BRF executive turned himself in for questioning by police and the company said some allegations made by police were false or based on faulty understanding.
Although the sales ban will be lifted in South Korea, the ministry said it would maintain strengthened inspections of imported Brazilian chicken. South Korea, Asia’s fourth largest economy, mainly imports chicken from Brazil, followed by the United States and Denmark.
Last year, over 80 percent of the 107,400 tonnes of chicken imported by South Korea came from Brazil, according to ministry data. South Korea does not import beef from the South American country. (Reporting by Jane Chung; Editing by Joseph Radford)