FDA confiscates P7-M worth of imported meat products

Aileen Cerrudo   •   June 18, 2019   •   4471

Courtesy : Dr. Paul Tolentino Floranda

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has reportedly confiscated P7 million worth of imported meat products across the country.

That is equivalent to 16,000 canned products.

The FDA has inspected over 50 establishments to check if they are selling imported meat products that came from countries affected by African swine fever.

Department of Health (DOH) Spokesman Usec. Eric Domingo said they have already recalled several of the meat products.

“Actually mahigit 50 na establishments, groceries at tsaka mga distributors ang nahulihan natin na mayroon nitong mga banned products natin na ito. At sineal na natin ito, Nag- seize na rin tayo at tsaka nag-recall, (We’ve actually caught over 50 establishments, groceries, and distributors selling banned products. We have seized and sealed them already and have recalled some),” he said.

Domingo reiterated that imported pork meat and products are not allowed to enter the country. He also advised Filipinos who will be returning home to not bring any of the banned products.

“Anything from unprocessed na frozen meat halimbawa bawal iyon pero pati mga produkto na na-processed na. Halimbawa iyong mga de lata o kaya mga kakanin or pagkain na containing meat products lalo na kung pork ay talagang hindi natin pinapayagan na makapsok ito, (Anything from unprocessed frozen meat, for example, is banned. It also includes processed products like canned meat or food containing meat products. We ban these from entering the country),” he said.

The DOH spokesperson said the country will continue to have strict implementations on pork products until the African swine fever is resolved abroad.

The FDA provided a list of countries affected by the African swine fever.

  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • China
  • Czech Republic
  • Hungary
  • Lativia
  • Moldova
  • Poland
  • Romania
  • Russia
  • South Africa
  • Ukraine
  • Zambia
  • Mongolia
  • Vietnam
  • Cambodia
  • Hong Kong
  • North Korea  

—AAC (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

Manila intensifies port, market watch amid ASF outbreak in nearby provinces

Marje Pelayo   •   September 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The city government of Manila has strengthened its monitoring against the entry of African Swine Fever (ASF) amid reports that several provinces have already been affected by the deadly pig disease.

Veterinary Inspection Board Chief Dr. Nick Santos said in a statement that the Manila VIB has “strengthened its monitoring task force, to check all possible point of entries and distribution channels, including markets and ports, as well as all cold storage facilities in the City of Manila, especially Tondo and Binondo area.”

Santos added that they are particularly monitoring against the sale of double-dead meat or ‘botcha’.

The official noted that because the city doesn’t have farms and hog-raisers, Manila has the lowest percentage of hog mortality rate despite the spread of the disease in nearby provinces.

“In this case, prevention is our top priority,” he added.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) has confirmed an outbreak of ASF in several provinces specifically in Rizal and Bulacan.

The DA through Secretary William Dar assured, however, that the outbreak has been managed and that the virus has already been contained.

Inflight wastes from passenger aircraft could be source of ASF virus – DENR

Marje Pelayo   •   September 18, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) does not impose quarantine protocols when it comes to inflight wastes of arriving aircraft.

Thus, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) urges airline contractors in NAIA to conduct waste treatment of all inflight wastes before they are shipped to Payatas dumpsites.

According to practice, inflight wastes are brought to Payatas dumpsites where food leftovers are separated from recyclable items.

Such food leftovers from inbound flights could be the source of African Swine Fever (ASF) that entered the country, according to DENR.

“Itong mga tirang pagkain na ito, ito yung binabalot nila at ibenebenta sa Rizal sa mga backyard (These food leftovers are wrapped and sold to backyards in Rizal),” DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said.

Antiporda argued that passenger aircraft travel to and from different countries so it is possible, he said, that the pig virus could have come from ASF-infected countries and reached the Philippines through food leftovers from these passenger aircraft.

The official said, since the outbreak of ASF surfaced some months ago, the Philippines has placed quarantine measures across the country’s seaports and airports.

“Ang nangyari kasi sa airport may quarantine sa tao pero sa basura wala (What happened was, (our) airports set up quarantine for humans and none for garbage),” Antiporda noted, however.

For now, the DENR is also awaiting the result coming from the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) regarding the tests conducted to the recovered pig carcasses in Marikina River and in a creek in Quezon City.

Antiporda expressed concern, meanwhile, of the possibility that the virus could develop into a water-borne disease as this would definitely and hugely affect the environment. – MNP (with details from Rey Pelayo)

ASF scare vexes pork meat vendors, lechon makers in Bulacan

Marje Pelayo   •   September 18, 2019

BULACAN, Philippines – The pig virus African Swine Fever (ASF) has so far affected five barangays in the municipality of Guiguinto.

These are barangays Tiaong, Kut-Kot, Malis, Tabe and Pritil.

Hog raisers are already complaining over huge loss of income.

Even pork meat vendors and lechon makers in the province are also hurt by the ASF outbreak.

Based on records of the Municipal Veterinary Office, over a hundred pigs have already died in these areas since August 16.

Authorities suspect that the pigs delivered from Rizal may have been the source of the spread of ASF in Guiguinto.

“Dinadala dito. Doon sila humahango (The pigs are brought here from there [Rizal]) ,” said Guiguinto Municipal Veterinary Officer Eduardo Jose.

“Pagdating dyan naunang nagkaroon ng report sa Rodriguez. Nag-suspect ang provincial veterinary office na nadala dito sa Pritil, (The report first surfaced in Rodriguez. The provincial veterinary office suspected that the virus was brought here in Pritil)” Jose said.

Hog raisers are starting to complain over huge loss of income due to ASF outbreak.

“Dito po namin inilibing ang labinlimang baboy na namatay kahapon. Affected po ang Pritil, (This is where we buried 15 pigs that died yesterday. Pritil is also affected),” said hog raiser Sofia Verde.

Verde said she already lost more than 100 pigs including a sow.

Barangay Pritil for now does not accept delivery of pigs from Rizal and Batangas due to ASF outbreak.

Aside from pork meat vendors, lechon makers in Bulacan are also hurt by the outbreak as buyers of the Filipino pork delicacy have become fewer.

“Matumal talaga. Nasasabay pa yung balita na (African Swine Fever) sa baboy, (Sales have been slow, and news about African Swine Fever is making it worse),” noted lechon maker Minda Atim.

Some pork meat vendors whose products were certified by the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) said they were not exempted from the impact of ASF scare.

They blame the media for fueling the flames when it comes to ASF.

“Ang nangyari kasi malakas rin ang (impluwensiya) ng media, (The influence of media is strong),” said Lisa Apolinario, a pork meat vendor.

“Napapakita, napapanood na akala nila ganun na lahat ng paninda. Maayos ang paninda namin kasi may certificate naman kami (When people see it on TV they think all pork being sold in the market are affected. Our products are safe because we have certificates),” Apolinario argued.

Meanwhile, some consumers prefer to be safe by buying other sources of protein instead of pork meat.

 “Mga seafood na lang binibili namin and chicken, (We prefer to buy seafood and chicken),” said Paula Angeles.

“Mas maganda mag-ingat na lang po ngayon, (It’s better to be cautious,)” another consumer, Jane Art said.

“Kapag wala na siguro yung case ng swine (fever) saka na lang siguro magbaboy, (When the case of (African) Swine (Fever) is cleared, that’s the time we could buy pork again),” she concluded. – MNP (with reports from Nestor Torres)

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