BRF S.A. has recalled more than 450 tons of fresh chicken because of potential Salmonella contamination.

Approximately 164.7 metric tons of chicken was destined to the Brazilian domestic market and 299.6 tons for international markets but the company did not say which countries. A total of 744 tons was distributed abroad but 445 tons has already been traced and blocked by BRF.

Products were marketed domestically in Brazil’s states of Amapá, Bahia, Ceará, Espírito Santo, Maranhão, Minas Gerais, Pará, Paraná, Pernambuco, Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul, Santa Catarina and São Paulo. The national recall represents less than 0.1 percent of the total BRF monthly production of chicken in Brazil.

The implicated chicken was produced on Oct. 30, 2018, and November 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, and 12, 2018, at BRF’s manufacturing unit in Dourados, a municipality in the Mato Grosso do Sul state. Laboratory tests detected a risk of Salmonella enteritidis presence.

The incident was reported to Brazilian authorities such as the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, and Supply (MAPA) and National Health Surveillance Agency (ANVISA).

BRF said the decision to recall all batches, instead of affected parts of the production, follows the precautionary principle and its commitment to food safety, quality, and transparency. The firm has started the inventory and collection of products either en-route or with clients in domestic and international markets.

It has deployed specialists to investigate origins of the case to ensure appropriate measures are taken to avoid a reoccurrence. Investigations found contamination occurred on a specific production line and there is no evidence other days before or after the dates mentioned above are affected.

Production at the plant is under a hold and release procedure to guarantee it was a one off problem and will not happen again. This means production at the site is released for commercialization only after lab tests confirm quality of the products.

The factory will start operating under normal conditions only when the internal investigation on the cause of contamination is completed and measures to ensure the problem does not re-occur are implemented, according to BRF.

BRF still has some poultry plants banned by the European Union following a Brazilian police investigation into alleged bribery of health officials in the sector in 2017.

Salmonellosis is a disease caused by the bacteria Salmonella. Onset of symptoms occurs six to 72 hours (usually 12–36 hours) after ingestion of Salmonella, and illness lasts two to seven days.

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