The Ministry of Industry has imposed an immediate import ban on corned beef from Brazil.

As a precautionary measure, all corned beef currently on the shelves will also be withdrawn.

It says the National Food Recall Committee will meet immediately to determine next steps and inform when it will be safe to consume the product.

Consumers are also being cautioned not to consume corned beef until further notice.

In a statement today the ministry says the decision follows reports from Brazilian authorities that several of its major meat processors have been selling rotten beef and poultry.

It also says the companies are alleged to have paid hefty bribes to auditors in exchange for fraudulent sanitary licenses.

The Brazilian companies implicated by the Brazilian authorities supply just short of one-hundred percent of the corned beef on the local market.

Industry Minister Karl Samuda called an emergency meeting earlier today with key stakeholders in the sector.

Following the meeting it was decided that a temporary hold will be placed on all permits for the import of corned beef from Brazil.