All shipments of meat and chicken from Brazil are being checked at Qatar’s ports to ensure their quality before they are cleared for sale, the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) has announced.
The move comes after evidence was found that meat-packers in Brazil had been selling rotten products for years.
Some 30 people were arrested last week, three packing plants were closed down and 21 are under investigation, according to the BBC.
Brazilian officials have stressed that these plants account for only a fraction of the industry, but many nations that import Brazilian meat and poultry products have suspended imports nonetheless.
That includes China, South Korea and the European Union.
Lab samples taken
Frozen halal chicken from Brazil is very popular in Qatar. And shoppers are sure to notice its lack of availability in the coming days and weeks.
According to an official from Qatar Foods, 90 percent of the nation’s poultry comes from the South American country.
The Peninsula reports business consultant Iqbal Vadakara as saying:
“Restriction of products from Brazil could lead to an acute shortage of poultry and meat products in the market. Almost all the major fast moving frozen chicken brands in the market are imported from Brazil.”
Once lab samples are analyzed and products are found fit for human consumption, the meat and poultry will be released, MOPH said.
Note: The lead image in this article has been changed, as Sadia chicken says it was not affected by the curbs.