By Marjaleen Ramos
Mekeni Food Corporation released a statement on Monday after it was reported that two of its product tested positive for African Swine Fever (ASF).
“Mekeni Food Corporation has always fully complied with all the regulations and certifications set by government. It is unfortunate that despite our adherence to these regulatory protocols, specific batches of two of our products, Mekeni Picnic Hotdog Regular 500g and Mekeni Skinless Longanoza (Uncooked) 200g, were found to have DNA traces of African Swine Fever,” the company said in a statement obtained by CNN.
This after the Department of Agriculture (DA) confirmed that the processed pork products illegally recently shipped from China to the Philippines tested positive for ASF.
“Despite this unfortunate development, we assure the government that we will continue to cooperate in its ongoing investigation to determine the source of ASF,” Mekeni assured.
The meat processor firm also said it will actively support the review of current protocols on issuing certifications for both local and imported raw meats.
Mekeni added that they already pulled out all of their pork-based products from their selling areas when they initiated a voluntary recall last October 26.
“These products are currently quarantined and a batch sampling has been submitted to an independent laboratory for ASF testing. We are still waiting for the results of these tests,” the food company assured.
“Operations of our pork-based processing area had been suspended since 26 October 2019, and the facility has been cleansed and disinfected,” it said.
These measures were part of their commitment to support the government in its campaign to control the further spread of the ASF that is threatening the hog industry, it added.
Mekeni, meanwhile, maintained that the products are safe for consumption.
“We continue to echo statements from the Department of Health that ASF does not pose any danger to human health,” it said.
“We will continue to support the efforts being done by the government to enhance public awareness on the ASF to address the public scare on the consumption of pork products,” Mekeni averred.
Mekeni assured that it will continue working with the Bureau of Animal Industry, National Meat Inspection Service, and the Food Administration, as well as other industry stakeholders, for the implementation of a more comprehensive plan to mitigate the spread of ASF.
“Rest assured, our commitment also extends to ensuring that our community and the whole industry will hurdle this challenge,” the statement added.