CEBU

Meat processing firms unaffected

UNSTIRRED. Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry vice president Steven Yu says meat processing plants in Mandaue City remain unaffected of the African Swine Fever outbreak in Luzon. (Sun Star File Photo)

THE Mandaue Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) said meat processing plants remain unaffected of the African Swine Fever (ASF) outbreak due to the stricter policy implemented by the Cebu province.

“The meat processing plants in Mandaue City are not affected so far, since the outbreak was reported in Luzon. In fact, the circumstances favor them because of the total ban,” said MCCI vice president Steven Yu.

Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia issued Executive Order (EO) 15 on Sept. 10, 2019, ordering a complete ban on live hog supply from Luzon and frozen pork and other pork products processed in the provinces of Rizal and Bulacan.

“Needless to say, a lot of the consumers of pork, including myself will be inconvenienced and will face uncertainties but the local government units feel that this action is the lesser evil or a better choice for Cebu,” said Yu.

As per ASF Task Force meeting, Yu said pork products manufactured in Luzon will be wiped out since the EO indicate that these will be pulled out from the market shelves and will be returned to Luzon.

San Miguel Foods Inc. assured that its pork meat and products are safe to eat. The company issued the statement in light of the ASF spread in Luzon.

“In light of recent news that several provinces have started issuing total bans on the entry of live and processed pork products from various parts in Luzon, San Miguel Foods assures the government and the public that its products are absolutely safe to eat and not affected by the ASF. These products should therefore be made available nationwide for consumers to continue to enjoy,” the company said in a statement.

The company stressed that it follows the strictest animal health and biosecurity protocols.

“Its chilled, frozen, and processed pork are produced from company-controlled hog breeding, growing, slaughtering, and manufacturing facilities. Its refrigerated and canned meats are cooked with heat above 70 degrees, thereby destroying harmful viruses, including ASF,” it said.

“Regular surveillance for diseases through laboratory testing of blood and tissue samples are done to detect any incidence of disease and develop prevention and control measures before each instance develops into an outbreak situation. We currently test for ASF using polymerase chain reaction and have not detected positive reactors in any of our farms nationwide,” the company added.

San Miguel Foods said that its food business units fully complies with government guidelines on Good Animal Health Practice, Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point and Good Manufacturing Practice.

“Considering all these, we believe that our properly inspected, certified, and ASF-free pork products, whether fresh, processed, refrigerated, or canned, should be allowed entry throughout the country for our consumers to

enjoy.

On Monday, Sept. 16, 2019, Bureau of Animal Industry Director Ronnie Domingo said the ASF virus was detected in seven areas in Bulacan and Rizal.

Earlier this month, the Department of Agriculture confirmed that the ASF virus had entered the country.

Countries affected by the ASF are Belgium, Bulgaria, China, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Latvia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine, Zambia, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Hong Kong and North Korea. (JOB)


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