"We don't serve Brazilian meat", says Carvalho.

Meanwhile, Brazil's President, Michel Temer, met foreign diplomats from the EU, China, the U.S. and elsewhere yesterday [Sunday 19 March] to allay concerns over exports following police raids on meatpackers in Brazil on Friday.

Brazil's president has played down a corruption scandal that's tarnished its valuable meat industry.

Brazil exported about US$5.9 billion (S$8.3 billion) in poultry and US$4.3 billion in beef in 2016, according to Brazilian government data.

Two of the largest meat producers JBS and BRF, both of which sell meat around the world, were among the companies caught up in the raid.

The President guaranteed that the investigations into the matter had allowed authorities to bust a "small" group of people engaging in the practice and he emphasised the rigorous controls in place on Brazilian meat products, saying that they "have been recognised by all importers".

Brazil is the largest beef and chicken exporter with nearly the fifth of global exports and sells it to about 150 countries, according to the Ministry of Development and Foreign Trade.

The Brazilian meat-producing sector accounts for some $12bn in annual exports.

The Brazilian authorities suspended 33 government officials from work in a wide-scale crackdown on charges of selling rotten processed meat and poultry.

Speaking to reporters in Brussels, European Union spokesman Enrico Brivio said the companies involved in the scandal would be temporarily barred. Analysts fear the latest scandal will significantly affect Brazil's meat exports.

Supermarket chain NTUC FairPrice said on Monday (March 20) that it is aware of ongoing investigations against two companies in Brazil which supply poultry products to its stores and other retailers here, and is seeking clarification with its suppliers about the matter.

"My freezer at home is full of meat, and I don't know what to do", said Maria Fonseca, a saleswoman. JBS's media office said it was unaware of any detention and denied that police raided the company's São Paulo-based headquarters.


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