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    Processed meat brand tested positive for ASF; groups call on DA to name the company

    MANILA, Philippines – Three products from a processed meat brand tested positive for African Swine Fever (ASF). The Department of Agriculture (DA) did not name the company, but a copy of the test results was leaked to the media, leading several groups to call on the government agency to announce the company’s name.
    Processed meat brand tested positive for ASF; groups call on DA to name the company

    In the clinical laboratory report made by the Veterinary Laboratory Division of the Bureau of Animal Industry, a branch of the DA, three meat samples from one brand of processed meat products tested positive for ASF viral DNA.

    The field specimen came from the following meat products: hotdog, longganisa, and tocino.

    Processed meat brand tested positive for ASF; groups call on DA to name the company
    Stock photo by Pixabay

    The said report blotted out several important information, including the owner’s name, address, and contact number as well as those of the sender. However, eagle-eyed netizens were quick to notice that the sender’s address wasn’t fully blotted out.

    While the sender’s name remains unknown, the sender used the address 262-C Teresa St., Sta. Mesa, Manila. As of press time, the address has not been confirmed to belong to a processing company or a private residence, but several groups are calling for the DA to release the company’s name.

    Both the Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. (PAMPI) and the Consumer advocacy group Laban Konsyumer Inc. called on the bureau to “name the brand, issue a show cause order and recall the contaminated product, be it local or imported”.

    Processed meat brand tested positive for ASF; groups call on DA to name the company
    Photo credit: GMA News

    PAMPI spokesperson Rex Agarrado revealed that they will demand a full copy of the test results because the report’s leakage will have a negative effect on all meat processors as this would make consumers feel that they are being negligent amid the ASF scare.

    “Bakit ganun? Nag-test ng vinegar na synthetic ingredients but the brand names were not disclosed to consumers. Now, processed meat contaminated with ASF but brands not likewise identified for the consumers,” said Laban Konsyumer president Vic Dimagiba.

    “Kung nag-iingat sila sa process they should issue show cause for the brand owner/s to explain. The process is in the Food Safety law.”

    PAMPI explained that the ASF scare should not affect their sector because the ASF virus cannot live in the processed meat products. After all, the products are cooked anywhere from 40 minutes to 1 hour in temperatures ranging from 70 degrees Celsius to 116 degrees Celsius.

    This is confirmed by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), announcing that though the ASF virus remains ‘resistant’ at low temperatures, it can be ‘inactivated’ by heat treatment. Laboratory test results showed that the virus is ‘inactivated’ by heat treatment for 70 minutes at 56 degrees Celsius or 60 minutes at 60 degrees Celsius.

    — Joy Adalia, The Summit Express

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