Entry of processed meat ‘subject to conditions’ stays: DILG

MANILA The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) on Friday reiterated that its order to local government units (LGUs) to allow the entry of processed meat products, subject to certain conditions, remains in effect.

The guidelines on processed meat products we issued (through) the (Memorandum) Circular shall remain. May mga conditions and requirement naman na dapat i-comply bago payagan ang pag-transport and pagbenta ng processed meat products (We have conditions and requirements that should be complied with before getting clearance to transport and sell processed meat products), Interior Secretary Eduardo AAo told reporters when sought for a comment.

AAo also agreed that products that fail to comply with safety requirements should be banned.

According to the DILG, meat products containing pork should be heat-treated or fully cooked based on internationally accepted standards adopted by the Philippine Association of Meat Processors.

Canned meat products, meanwhile, should be cooked at 116 degrees Celsius for at least an hour, while hotdogs, hams, and bacon should be processed/smoked/cooked to a core temperature of at least 72 degrees Celsius for more than one hour.

Smoked/cooked pork sausages, on the other hand, should be cooked to a core temperature of at least 72 degrees Celsius for at least 40 minutes.

As processors usually use imported pork, the manufacturer/processor should present certification that the source or origin is a country that is not infected with African swine fever (ASF), supported by any acceptable document, such as a Veterinary Health

Certificate of the exporting country and the Sanitary and Phyto Sanitary (SPS) Import Permit issued by the Department of Agriculture (DA).

For pork from local producers, a document issued by the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) authorizing its movement or use for production of processed meats should be shown to LGU authorities.

For processed meat products, such as tocino, fresh longganisa, and tapa that use pork as material but do not undergo heat treatment or full cooking, an NMIS certification is necessary for locally sourced pork.

For imported meat materials, permits and certifications to ensure that the source countries are free from ASF and are from DA-approved sources are essential.

On Thursday, the DA confirmed that some brands of processed meat products have tested positive for ASF.

AAo confirmed that he and Agriculture Secretary William Dar met regarding the issue, and that they agreed that the guidelines should "remain until further notice."

AAo pledged to implement stricter checkpoints and quarantine operations "to ensure that all requirements and conditions are met on movement transport and selling of processed meat products."

MalacaAang has directed all government agencies, bureaus, and agencies to control the spread of ASF in the country.

This directive came following reports that samples taken from hotdog, longganisa, and tocino imported by a Manila-based company have tested positive for ASF virus.

The Office of the President, through the initiative of the Executive Secretary, is hereby directing all executive departments, bureaus, agencies, government-owned and -controlled corporations, government financial institutions and other instrumentalities of the government to coordinate, as well as to adopt policies and institute measures to manage, contain and control the transmission of African swine fever (ASF) in the country, Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a statement on Thursday night.

Panelo said all concerned and responsible government offices have also been directed to provide assistance, alternative livelihood, and skills training to those affected by ASF.

He also urged the public to cooperate with government authorities to prevent the spread of ASF.

The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), in a clinical laboratory report, said the imported meat products that tested positive for ASF were taken from a supply coming from a company based in Sta. Mesa, Manila. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency

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