Consumers, retailers in Asturias urged not to buy imported ‘Korean spam’
CEBU CITY, Philippines – Local agricultural officials of Asturias town in western Cebu have urged consumers as well as retailers there to avoid purchasing canned luncheon meat from South Korea.
The Municipal Agricultural Office in Asturias made this pronouncement after finding out that a store there sold canned luncheon meat manufactured in South Korea.
Jade Mesias, Asturias’ Municipal Agriculturist, told reporters in a teleconference that they made the discovery last December 12.
Called ‘Korean Spams’, these products are banned in Cebu as they came from a country with confirmed cases of African Swine Fever (ASF).
Mesias said they purchased all three cans from the store.
“The cans we bought will be subjected for immediate disposal,” Mesias said in Cebuano.
The agricultural officer, who also sits as the Vice Chairperson of Asturias’ anti-ASF task force, did not divulge the name of the store but said they too have branches in the neighboring towns of Balamban and Tuburan.
In the meantime, Mesias said they told the store management where the Korean Spam were found not to order these products anymore.
He added that most of these Korean Spam can be bought easily online, which concerned them.
“A lot are selling these canned luncheon meat from Korea online, and a lot, like the management of the store where we found them, did not know that these came from ASF-stricken countries,” explained Mesias.
This is not the first time Korean Spams were confiscated in Cebu.
Last April, the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries of Cebu City also seized close to 100 cans of Korean Spams in various stores here.
Since the outbreak of ASF, Cebu has implemented stringent protocols on the entry of live hogs, pork products, and byproducts to protect its P11-billion hog industry.
These included an absolute ban on the importation of live pigs, pork products, and byproducts from areas afflicted with ASF such as South Korea.
When sought for comments on the incident in Asturias, Provincial Veterinarian, Dr. Mary Rose Vincoy, said they are still waiting for the official report from officials there.
Vincoy, meanwhile, said Cebu remains free of any confirmed cases of ASF. /rcg
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