By Carolina Mandl and Ana Mano
SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazilian food processor BRF SA recalled almost 500 tonnes of fresh chicken products on Wednesday due to salmonella contamination worries, in a move affecting several key export markets in Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
The recall deals another blow to the food processor, which is struggling under trade bans in the European Union after accusations that it colluded with health inspectors and accredited laboratories to evade food safety checks.
BRF said in a regulatory filing it was recalling 164.7 tonnes of fresh chicken destined for the domestic market and another 299.6 tonnes destined for the international market as a precautionary measure.
Shares fell as much as 2 percent in morning trading in São Paulo before trimming losses to 1.5 percent.
A spokeswoman told Reuters the recalled products were destined for nine markets, including Japan, China, Kuwait, Ghana, Bahrain, Gambia, Oman, Angola and Cuba.
The products suspected of contamination by salmonella enteritidis were produced on Oct. 30 and on six different dates in early November, the company said.
A team of investigators has been sent to its Dourados plant, in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, it said.
BRF said the unit was operating under “a special regime.”
Such a regime entails testing of all products produced at the unit, not only samples of products being manufactured there, the spokeswoman said.
BRF has recalled products that have reached clients or are en route to local and overseas markets, the company said in a securities filing.
BRF said it was working to ensure that the release of products potentially infected with salmonella was a one-off event.
(Additional reporting by Carolina Mandl; Editing by Jason Neely and Bernadette Baum)