Barbadians can resume eating one of their favourite delicacies now that the all clear has been given for the consumption of corned beef.
Speaking at a media briefing on Monday at the Ministry of Agriculture’s Graeme Hall headquarters, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Esworth Reid, told reporters that the Ministry found it necessary to follow through on the suspension for the protection of the health of Barbadians from food-borne illnesses.
On March 21, the Ministry placed a temporary suspension on all imports of meat and meat products from Brazil after reports of potentially adulterated meat being exported from Brazil.
Mr. Reid continued: “I know there was some criticism levied against the Ministry by probably one person who believed that the Ministry had acted a bit too hastily but one has to recognised that when you are dealing with the health of people, you can’t wait until something happens then to act. So, the Ministry had to act early… We at the Ministry make up a responsible organisation and we will ensure that the health of Barbadians is protected.”
Meanwhile, Senior Veterinary Officer of the Veterinary Services Department, Dr. Mark Trotman, stated that he had no concerns from a veterinary standpoint about the corned beef.
“Obviously I cannot make any categorical statements but the laboratory analysis was part of our routine investigation and these types of tests take quite a while… We have to do micro biological analysis on a large number of samples as you would appreciate…
They are 17 different brands and we have to take several samples from each brand and we have to do a number of different tests on them. So, they will take a while but based on the information that we have been able to gather I will tell you that I have no concerns about it and I have no objection to the resumption of sale and the consumption of the corned beef,” Dr. Trotman asserted.
Also present at the briefing was Chair of the Retail and Distribution Committee at the Barbados Chamber of Commerce Inc., Anthony Brancker, who stated that despite hundreds of thousands of dollars being tied up in inventory by the ban, the health of Barbadians was of paramount concern.
“We worked along with the Ministry providing all the samples that were necessary so that we would have come to whatever conclusion that was in the best interest of Barbadians, and we were 100 per cent willing to support that,” he said.