Mekeni Food’s President Denies That Pork Products Are ASF-Infected
"We are an ISO-certified company," Mekeni Food president Prudencio Garcia said in a report by Manila Bulletin on the issue of their meat being contaminated with Asian Swine Flu (ASF). This comes after a confirmation from the Department of Agriculture (DA) Spokesperson Noel Reyes that processed meats such as tocino, longganisa, and hotdogs from unknown brands seized from a Mindoro port tested positive with ASF.
Mekeni Food was allegedly the distributor of the meat. Garcia insists though, that the meat they use for processing come with certificates and permits from the government.
Accordng to Reyes, it's possible that some of the confiscated contaminated meat goods are homemade. Backyard hog raisers from areas plagued with ASF may have hid their pigs and sold them to traders.
However it's easy to by-pass inspection as Philippine Association of Meat Processors, Inc (PAMPI) admitted that pork materials do not undergo ASF testing, and just a visual inspection by National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS).
Before you boycott pork or any pork product though, it's important to remember though, that the Asian Swine Flu epidemic threatens the huge P260-billion hog industry in the Philippines as it causes the death or culling of hogs but ASF is not harmful to humans. According to (PAMPI) and World Health Organization (WHO), the ASF virus is effectively killed at 70 degrees Celsius for thirty minutes.