Brazil's biggest meat-packing companies accusing them of selling rotten meat on the domestic market and abroad. Chemicals were used to hide signs of deterioration in red meat. "They used acid and other chemicals to mask the aspect of the product. In some cases, the products used were carcinogenic," said the Brazilian federal police. In other cases, potato, water and even cardboard paper was mixed with chicken meat to increase profits.
Investigators say JBS and BRF bribed health inspectors and other officials to get government certificates for their products. JBS is the world's largest beef producer, with a net revenue of $55bn (£44bn). It exports to some 150 countries. BRF is the world's top poultry exporter. Shares of JBS and BRF have fallen by 10% and 8% respectively.
Brazil is the world's largest red meat exporter. Much of the meat produced by JBS and BRF is exported to Europe and other parts of the world.