‘Hot’ meat destroyed in Pampanga

Porac, Pampanga—Thousands of cases of smuggled frozen Peking ducks and tons of other imported meats were destroyed by Bureau of Customs Port of Clark through a private waste disposal facility situated in a remote village here late Wednesday afternoon.

The condemned meats including imported pork, chicken parts such as liver, feet and gizzard and fish balls were confiscated by BoC during last month raid in a warehouse situated at Barangay Anunas, Angeles City.

Port of Clark District Collector lawyer Ruby Claudia Alameda earlier ordered the destruction of forfeited food and non-food items temporarily placed under a cold storage and warehouse of a businessman in the city after the seizure last June this year.

"The seized items are believed to have been smuggled into the country because of the standing restriction banning importation of poultry products from China due to bird flu virus," said Alameda.

She said these imported goods should pass stringent requirements and tests by the Customs and other government regulatory agencies such as Bureau of Animal Industry of the Department of Agriculture (DA-BAI) and the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS).

NMIS director Orlando Ongsoto who was present during the transfer of frozen meats to Green Leaf Waste Management Facility, said the seized items are not fit for human consumption due to the fact that it was merged with banned items while at the cold storage.

"All meats inside the cold storage are considered contaminated since they are all in cold storage, that’s why it’s not fit for human consumption. That might cause the (spread of the) bird flu virus," Ongsoto warned.

Ferdinand Montano, veterinarian of DA-BAI, said importation of poultry products including Peking ducks is illegal. “Besides, there was no health certificate and the government did not issue importation permit for these,” he said, lauding the BoC for the timely seizure of the contraband.

Norma del Rosario-Nucup, intelligence officer 1 of BoC Port of Clark, said her team received information that imported foods and non-food items are being stored at a warehouse and cold storage in Angeles City, which prompted them to inspect the place.

The warehouse owner, identified as Jimgold Tan, admitted his offense, and vowed not to file legal sanctions against the BoC personnel who raided his place.

Green Leaf operations manager Alejandro Patenga said frozen meats will be disposed using the German technology incinerator. He said Green Leaf is the only waste disposal facility accredited by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Central Luzon.

Topics: Bureau of Customs Port of Clark , Pampanga , Hot Meat , Bureau of Customs Port of Clark , Ruby Claudia Alameda , National Meat Inspection Service , Department of Agriculture , Green Leaf Waste Management Facility

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