MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) under the Department of Agriculture (DA) confirmed that some pork products of Mekeni Foods Corporation tested positive for African swine fever (ASF).
In a press briefing on Monday, November 4, BAI chief Ronnie Domingo said Mekeni’s skinless longganisa and hotdog turned out positive for ASF upon the agency’s validation tests.
The DA earlier said tocino was included, then later clarified that it was not.
Officials are still investigating where the tainted food products were sourced from.
Mekeni’s meat products sourced from Canada, the United States, and France tested negative for ASF.
Mekeni has already voluntarily recalled all of its pork-based products.
“Despite this unfortunate development, we assure government that we will continue to cooperate in its ongoing investigation to determine the source of ASF. We will also actively support the review of current protocols on issuing certifications for both local and imported raw meats,” Mekeni said in a statement.
Operations of its pork-based processing area have been suspended since October 26. The company said the facility has been cleansed and disinfected.
A third-party company was also tapped to do swabbing and testing of the facility before it can resume operations.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar reminded the public that selling ASF-tainted meat is a criminal offense.
“It is a crime to sell, trade, slaughter sick or dead pigs for meat or for processed pork products. Violators face imprisonment from 6 to 12 years or a fine of up to P1 million,” Dar said.
Meanwhile, the Department of Health said it inspected 63 out of 178 accredited meat manufacturing plants, all of which tested negative for ASF. – Rappler.com