The Government of Liberia (GoL) through the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MOCI) and the Ministry of Health (MoH) has confirmed the importation of contaminated Salmonella pork in Liberia by Cheaitou Brothers, a major importer of frozen meat.
Minister Wilson Tarpeh made the disclosure Wednesday, January 30, at a news conference in Monrovia, indicating that the test results showed that majority of the samples of the pork meat submitted for testing were contaminated and will be burnt.
Salmonella is a food poison caused by eating contaminated food such as duck, chicken, beef, pork, and veal.
According to authorities of the ministries of Health and Commerce, the pork was imported by Cheaitou Brothers, Incorporated, one of Liberia’s major importers located in Paynesville, Red Light.
It may be recalled that on January 16, 2019, during a joint press conference hosted by the ministers of Commerce and Health, it was revealed that 2,754 barrels of salmonella were quarantined and undergoing testing.
“We wish to restate that our decision to quarantine the salmonella was based on an earlier alert issued by the European Union and the Ministry of Health that the business house in Liberia was bringing in a consignment of contaminated pork from a slaughterhouse located in Europe,” Minister Tarpeh said.
According to Minister Tarpeh, the contaminated meat will be burned to avoid its circulation on the Liberian market.
Minister Tarpeh noted that a fine would be imposed on Cheaitou Brothers if the investigation reveals that the company was aware of the contaminated pork before importing it into the country.
“In as much as the government welcomes an open and participatory market, it will not equally condone harmful business practices in the country,” he stated.
He further said that the ministry of commerce and industry remains committed to ensure that anyone found in any business practice that endangers the health of the Liberian people will be made to account for their actions in accordance with the law.