By Chito Chavez
The Quezon City Veterinary Department assured local residents that the city’s markets are free from African Swine Fever (ASF) virus.
“I can safely say that the city is free from ASF kasi na-inspection na natin ang lahat ng markets na natitinda ng frozen meat (I can safely say the city is free from ASF since we have inspected all the markets selling frozen meats in the locality),” City Veterinarian Dr. Ana Maria Cabel said.
In May, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an advisory on the list of countries whose pork meat products were contaminated with ASF.
Pork meat products from Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic, Moldova, Hungary, Bulgaria, Belgium, Latvia, Poland, Romania, China, South Africa, Zambia, Japan, Mongolia, and Vietnam were temporarily banned in the country as they were suspected to be affected by ASF.
Meat products from Germany were also banned from being sold in the country as per the Department of Agriculture’s Memorandum Order 18-2019.
To ensure that all imported and domestic meats in the city were safe, the City Veterinary Department, led by Cabel, closely monitored and inspected markets, supermarkets, and even slaughterhouses.
“Sa mga markets, may mga designated place na nagbebenta ng frozen meat. Ininspect namin yung stocks nila, at wala namang galing sa banned countries (In the markets there are designated places where frozen meats are sold. We continuously inspect their stocks and there are no products that came from thee banned countries),” Cabel said.
Cabel also stressed that ASF is not a health risk for humans.
The World Organization for Animal Health explained African Swine Fever is a highly contagious hemorrhagic viral disease of domestic and wild pigs.
“Ang African Swine Fever ay parang pneumonia sa mga hayop. Mga hayop lamang ang naaapektuhan at hindi ang mga tao. Safe ito kainin ng mga tao (hee African wine fever is similar to pneumonia of animals. Only animals are affected and not human beings. This is safe for human consumption),” Cabel stressed.
Cabel said consumers can also spot if the meat they have bought is contaminated with ASF or not.
Cabel advised the consumers to buy meats from reputable markets or suppliers to ensure that the products they are purchasing are safe for human consumption.
She also encouraged the consumers to look for the meat inspection certificate to verify the freshness and safety of the meat product.