Pampi assures local meat products safe; FDA told: Be specific on recall orders
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (PAMPI) assured the consumers that locally-produced processed meat are safe from consumption and does not contain meat from African Swine Fever (ASF) infected countries.
In a statement released to the media, the Pampi said that canned meat products and hotdogs are free from ASF-infected meat from the countries banned by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) such as Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Moldova, South Africa, Zambia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Belgium, Latvia, Poland, Romania, China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Mongolia, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
The ASF, as defined by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), is a highly contagious hemorrhagic disease of pigs, warthogs, European wild boar, and American wild pigs.
It is caused by DNA virus of the Asfarviridae family which causes high fever, loss of appetite, hemorrhages in the skin and internal organs, and death in two to ten days of the affected pigs.
Although it does not affect humans, pigs infected with AFS can die, can no longer be fit for consumption, and can affect the P2 billion pork industry in the Philippines.
“Processed meat products such as canned meats and hotdogs which are locally produced do not contain meat materials from countries infected by the African swine fever,” said PAMPI, a national organization of processed meat manufacturers, in their statement.
PAMPI also said most of the ASF-infected countries do not actually export meat products to the Philippines.
Felix Tiukinhoy Jr, PAMPI president, urged the FDA to be more specific with their announcement on the banned products because this might cause “confusion and uncertainty” for the consumers.
“Recall orders should be product specific, identifying the brands and countries of origin, instead of general statements that are not helpful to consumers but are prejudicial to local manufacturers,” said Tiukinhoy.
He said that with locally produced meat products displayed in supermarkets and groceries along with imported products, consumers might hesitate to buy the locally produced meat.
With this, he said that PAMPI had been working on a system with supermarket operators to institutionalize the segregation of local processed meats from imported items.
PAMPI hopes that with a more specific advisory, the consumers will find it easier to differentiate locally produced meat with imported meat. /dbs
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