CEBU CITY – More than a thousand canned meat products banned in the country have been taken out from the markets in Cebu City after the Food and Drug Administration raised alarm over these goods which were imported from countries affected by African swine fever (ASF) and manufactured on August 25, 2018 onward.
Cebu City Veterinarian Alice Utlang said they have been going around grocery stores and supermarkets to ensure that these establishments strictly follow the ban aftrer the outbreak of the virus in several European and Asian countries.
Utlang doused fears that the virus would affect human health. She said the ASF only affects wild boars and native pigs and does not affect humans. However, she said human may become carriers of the virus and infect local hogs, eventually affecting the country’s P200-billion hog industry.
“Let’s protect our borders from the virus because it’s already in neighboring countries like China,” Utlang said, adding that the virus could not be easily eliminated even if the infected meat is subjected to 70 degrees Centigrade heat while being cooked.
She urged residents to patronize locally manufactured products, instead of buying imported brands, which are not guaranteed to be ASF-free. “I am urging the public to refrain from buying imported canned goods from ASF-infected countries, or check the production date, which should be before August 25, 2018. If they can, just patronize our locally processed products because we are 100 percent sure that they are ASF-free,” Utlang said.
Among the canned meat products banned in the country is the Filipino favourite, Maling. (John Rey Saavedra)
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