The Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries has imposed an immediate ban on imports of corned beef originating from Brazil.
In the meantime, consumers are being cautioned not to eat corned beef until further notice.
The move follows reports from Brazilian authorities that several major Brazilian meat processors have been selling rotten beef and poultry.
The companies are also alleged to have paid hefty bribes to auditors in exchange for fraudulent sanitary licenses.
The ministry says implicated Brazilian companies supply 99.5 per cent of the corned beef being sold in Jamaica.
At an emergency meeting this afternoon, Industry Minister Karl Samuda stressed the importance of safeguarding the welfare of consumers.
Officials from the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries, the Ministry of Health, the Consumer Affairs Commission, the Bureau of Standards Jamaica, the National Compliance Regulatory Authority, and the Jamaica Customs Agency attended the meeting.
The Ministry has also convened a meeting with major local distributors and importers of corned beef.
The following steps are to be taken immediately:
1. A temporary hold will be placed on all permits for the import of corned beef from Brazil.
2. As a precautionary measure, all corned beef currently on the shelves will be withdrawn.
3. The National Food Recall Committee will meet immediately to determine next steps and inform when it will be safe to consume the product.
In the interim, the Bureau of Standards Jamaica will conduct chemical test profiles to ascertain the contents of corned beef on the market and the Veterinary Services Division of the Ministry will conduct microbiological and residue tests to ascertain whether contaminants are present in the products on the local market.