>> Brazilian health officials conducting surprise inspections in supermarkets throughout Rio de Janeiro as the fallout from a tainted meat scandal reverberates around the globe. Key trading partners searching for new sources of red meat after Brazilian police alleged inspectors at the world's largest exporters of beef and poultry took bribes and allowed sales of rotten meat.
Reuters Brazil correspondent Stephen Eisenhammer toured a meat processor with Agriculture Minister Blairo Maggi.>> The government is trying very hard now to demonstrate that the quality controls that they have in place are up to scratch, and that they're functioning. Blairo Maggi finished the tour. He is saying that every thing he has seen is in order, that the factory is top notch and up to global standards.
>> On Tuesday Hong Kong, the second biggest buyer of Brazilian meat last year banning all meat imports from the country. Monday, China, the biggest export market for Brazilian beef announcing a temporary ban. Chile followed suit and the European union also halting imports from four Brazilian meat processors. But many countries scrapping Brazilian beef imports may find themselves left without alternative supplier.
Drought has pushed Australian beef prices higher, Argentina is rebuilding its beef industry after trade controls hurt its exports. The US is a large beef exporter, but commodity analysts say it's too early to tell if the crisis in Brazil will benefit American cattle farmers. Brazil's agriculture minister says an all out ban on Brazilian meat shipments would be a disaster.
It is one of the few sectors of the economy that has managed to thrive during a two year long recession.