Name ASF-Tainted pork items -- Solon

October 27, 2019

FOR the sake of transparency and consumer welfare identify processed meat products that tested positive for the African Swine Flu (ASF) virus, a House leader on Sunday called on the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Meanwhile Mekeni Food Corp. yesterday recalled all its pork products amid reports that some have tested positive for ASF.

Mekeni, in a statement, said it has submitted samples of its products to the Bureau of Animal Industry under the Department of Agriculture and an independent testing facility.

“Even as we wait for the results of these tests, we have decided to initiate a voluntary recall of all of our pork-based products effective 26 October 2019,” it said.

“This is to ensure that we mitigate the possibility that our products inadvertently become carriers of ASF.”

However the Pampanga-based firm insisted its products are “safe for consumption.”

“No less than the Department of Health and the DA have reiterated that ASF poses no danger to human health,” it said.

ASF scare

Quezon City Rep. Precious Hipolito Castelo, vice chairperson of the House Committee on Metro Manila Development, said keeping the public guessing would only fuel unnecessary ASF scare on all processed meat products that could affect supply and prices.

“We don’t want this to happen especially when millions of our countrymen are about to celebrate the Christmas season,” said Castelo.

The lawmaker noted many Filipinos, particularly in Metro Manila, buy canned goods and processed meat for Christmas.

Castelo said naming the contaminated goods would spare those that are not and provide the public with choices.

“The DA should also identify the goods not contaminated with ASF,” said Castelo.

The policymaker clarified that while ASF does not pose any threat to human health, it has alarmed several local government units (LGUs), which imposed a ban on contaminated meat products to protect their hog industries.

“So the DA should be transparent as public welfare and meat businesses are of paramount concern,” said Castelo. “Doing so would also protect the industry not affected by ASF.”

Earlier, the DA reported that several canned goods and meat products tested positive for ASF virus but declined to name them.