The Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc. assured the Filipino consumers that processed meats and meat products produced by its members are free from the African swine fever.
“We assure and guarantee our consumers that we do not import pork materials from countries that have been infected by the ASF virus,” PAMPI president Felix Tiukinhoy Jr. said in a statement.
The group said it purchases pork cuts certified by the National Meat Inspection Service as it upholds internationally-accepted and recognized standards of food safety and manufacturing practices.
All processed meat products are cooked at temperatures ranging from 70 to 116 degrees Celsius for 40 to 60 minutes, a process that ensures the destruction of harmful bacteria and viruses, PAMPI said.
“Hence, our processed meat products cannot be carriers of the ASF virus,” it said.
PAMPI said while ASF proved contagious to pigs, it did not affect humans.
PAMPI continued its full and unequivocal support to the national government and private sector to contain and eradicate ASF in the country.
“Unfortunately, during the past two weeks, the movement, distribution and sale of processed meat products were banned by some local government units on the mistaken belief and unfounded fear that they will cause harm to their hog raisers. However, such move has absolutely no basis in fact and science,” Tiukinhoy said.
PAMPI asked the LGUs to take a second look and consider lifting the ban immediately as it appealed to the national government to promptly issue unified and coordinated guidelines for adoption by all LGUs on the movement, distribution and sale of pork products, both raw and processed, to avoid disruption of trade and damage to the economy.
“Finally, we extend our appreciation and thanks to President Duterte and members of his Cabinet for recognizing the P300-billion meat processing industry as partner and driver of economic growth during his term,” the group said.