S Africa suspends Brazil meat imports related to scandal

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Brazil's Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi, right, accompanied by a sanitary inspection agent, collect meat products for testing, in a supermarket in Brasilia.

Brazil's Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi, right, accompanied by a sanitary inspection agent, collect meat products for testing, in a supermarket in Brasilia. (Photo: AP)

SAO PAULO (AP) — South Africa is partially suspending imports of Brazilian meat, the latest country to do so in the wake of an inspection scandal.

Brazilian investigators charge that health inspectors in the South American country were bribed to overlook the sale of expired meats and chemicals and other products were added to meat to improve its appearance and smell.

The government has suspended exports from the 21 companies under investigation, but that has not quelled concern abroad.

South Africa's Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said in a statement Wednesday that it would block products from the companies implicated in the probe. Its port inspectors will also test meat from Brazil for pathogens such as salmonella.

The European Union, Chile, China, Japan and Mexico have instituted total or partial bans.

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