We Spotted Previously Banned Ma Ling Luncheon Meat In The Supermarket

It now uses a different kind of meat.

IMAGE Bea Faicol

Just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Philippines, a different kind of virus was spreading and affecting the country's livestock: African Swine Fever (ASF). When ASF wasn't officially considered an outbreak yet, one of the precautions taken by the Department of Agriculture (DA) was to closely monitor any entry of pork and pork by-products from countries affected by the ASF outbreak. Ma Ling was included in the temporary ban on pork meat products

In May 2019, the DA's quarantine laws were violated by an OFW who brought Ma Ling from Hong Kong to the Philippines (Hong Kong and China were both affected by ASF during that time). The Bureau of Customs confiscated the OFW's canned meatloaf which pushed the OFW to voice out his frustrations to Raffy Tulfo during his radio program.

The last we've heard is DA Secretary Emmanuel "Manny" Piñol led an investigation to track down the OFW. He pleaded with quarantine officers to join forces with the Philippine National Police to track down the OFW who brought the canned goods from Hong Kong to Ilocos.

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It's been almost a year since the DA confirmed ASF in the Philippines, and this outbreak continues to spread in the country and has resulted in culling of pigs in some areas like Isabela. This is why Ma Ling wasn't available on grocery shelves for quite some time, until now.

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We recently spotted a can of Ma Ling in the supermarket. It has the same blue and orange packaging and it looks exactly like the same product at first glance. But if you look closely enough, there is a big difference in the Ma Ling pre-ASF and the ones that are currently sold in our supermarkets. Instead of pork, Ma Ling is now made with chicken meat.

The new Ma Ling canned good now has labels that indicate "CANNED CHICKEN LUNCHEON MEAT" and "CONTAINS NO PORK AND BEEF." Here, take a look:

Photo by Bea Faicol
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Photo by Bea Faicol
Photo by Bea Faicol
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Ma Ling's chicken luncheon meat has the same texture which when fried long enough, you can still achieve that audible crunch when you take a bite. The only difference with the Ma Ling chicken luncheon meat is that it has a milder, less salty taste compared to when Ma Ling used pork.

We spotted this MaLing Canned Chicken Luncheon Meat at Metro Supermarket for P98.50.

Editor's Note: We contacted the Food and Drug Administration of the Philippines (FDA) for any information on this product but we have not been able to contact them via published phone numbers. 

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