DOH: Processed meat products are safe to eat

Published October 24, 2019, 11:06 AM

by Gabriela Baron & Minka Klaudia Tiangco

By Analou De Vera

The Department of Health (DOH) on Thursday said that processed meat products are safe for consumption even after some of these tested positive for African Swine Fever (ASF).

VDr. Rolando Enrique Domingo (R), Undersecretary of the Department of Health (DOH) (REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco / MANILA BULLETIN)
Dr. Rolando Enrique Domingo (R), Undersecretary of the Department of Health (DOH)

Health Undersecretary and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Officer-in-Charge Rolando Enrique Domingo said that ASF is not a threat to human health.

“Basta kinain ng tao wala pong problema at wala pong dapat ikatakot na kumain ng produktong ito, dahil sa kalusugan ng tao, wala po talaga siyang epekto,” said Domingo in a radio interview. ([Even if it was consumed by an individual, there will be no problem. The public should not be afraid of these products because they have no effect on human health.)

“Ito po ay completely safe. Wala po siyang epekto sa kalusagan ng tao, it is safe for human consumption; sa human health wala po syang threat ito pong virus na ito, naapektuhan lang po nito ay mga baboy,” he added. (This is completely safe. There is no effect on human health, it is safe for consumption. The virus is not a threat to human health only to pigs.]

Recently, the Bureau of Animal Industry’s (BAI) clinical laboratory report bared that some meat products including hotdog, longganisa, and tocino were detected to be with ASF.

Domingo said that he wanted to see the official report of BAI to determine the “virus fragment” that it detected.

“Gusto ko pong malaman kung ano yung tinest nila baka hilaw na karne ito or slightly processed food lamang, para dapat kasi mabigyan natin ng characterization kung ano yung nakita nating virus fragment,” the FDA official said. (I want to know what they have tested, it might be raw meat or slightly processed meat. It is necessary to determine the characterization and the virus fragment that was seen.)

The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) described ASF as a severe and highly contagious viral disease among domestic and wild pigs.

Pigs infected with the ASF virus experience high fever, depression, loss of appetite, redness of ears, abdomen, and legs; vomiting, and diarrhea that may lead to death.