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Makati says meat products are safe for consumption

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The Makati Veterinary Services Office (VSO) has assured residents and the public that meat products in the city are safe for consumption.

Makati Veterinary Services Office chief Dr. Ma. Katherina Mangahas said residents and the public that there is no need to worry about the presence of African Swine Fever (ASF) in the City which was recently confirmed by the Department of Agriculture (DA).

“The Makati Veterinary Services Office has been continuously conducting meat safety inspections to ensure the full compliance of establishments with safety standards prescribed by the Meat Inspection Code of the Philippines,” Mangahas said.

The city official also said that all establishments selling locally-slaughtered meat are required to secure a Certificate of Meat Inspection from the VSO or from the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) to ensure that meats sold had undergone standard slaughter procedures and are safe for human consumption. For imported meat products, the NMIS issues said certification.

Mangahas added that she called on residents and other consumers, including those who eat at restaurants or other food establishments, to be vigilant and immediately report any suspicious products or irregularities to the VSO to help the city government keep out ASF-infected and mishandled meat products from the city.

“We hope that residents and consumers in Makati will work hand-in-hand with the VSO in ensuring that we remain free of the ASF virus,” Mangahas said.

The city veterinary chief explained that although the virus does not pose a risk on human health, as affirmed by the Department of Health (DOH), business can be adversely affected as consumers would avoid buying pork products in the city if there were confirmed cases.

Based on the recent report, the city’s VSO Meat Inspection Division has inspected some 404 restaurants, 225 supermarket meat stalls, 647 wet market meat stalls, two (2) cold storage facilities, and one meat cutting plant in the city from January to August this year. Authorities have also ensured that canned pork products sold in supermarkets and other outlets were not purchased from ASF-infected countries.

The VSO also reported having inspected a total of 289 Metro Stores, which sell affordable meals to workers in the Makati Central Business District and across the city, during the same period.

Aside from regular inspections, the VSO also conducted seminars among vendors and butchers in slaughterhouses in the city to promote proper meat handling and overall food safety. Recently, the Makati VSO in coordination with the NMIS held a seminar on African swine fever for butchers.

A few months ago, the VSO likewise conducted a seminar on Hygienic Handling of Meat and Meat Products for meat vendors at the Guadalupe Market and the concessionaires of cold storage and supermarkets, respectively.

Irregularities on the importation, distribution, and selling of meat products in the city can be reported to the VSO office at Malugay St. cor. Ayala Ave. Ext. Barangay San Antonio or through telephone number, 889-7949, or through the city’s official Facebook page, My Makati.

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