After news broke about the deaths of scores of pigs in various areas of the country, it didn’t take long for the Department of Agriculture to confirm the suspicion that African Swine Fever (ASF) had indeed made its way to the Philippines.
With the disease known to have affected hundreds of pigs, primarily in the hog industries of Rizal and Bulacan provinces, it had sent the meat-consuming public into somewhat a state of panic. Because of its immediate impact on the hog industry, it’s only natural for people to have worries over the safety of the meat they’re buying from the markets and consuming. After all, most Pinoys are siguristas—we want only the safest for ourselves and our families.
Despite mounting concern, public health officials insist that it is still safe to eat pork. But how do you make sure? First, there are a few things you should know.
What you need to know about ASF:
African Swine Fever (ASF) has affected pigs in several nearby countries such as China, Vietnam, and Cambodia; thousands of pigs have been culled in affected areas, including the Philippines, to prevent the spread of disease.
What’s important to remember, though, is that ASF is not a human health risk. According to the World Organization for Animal Health, although humans can become carriers of the disease once they come in contact or ingest affected meat, it does not cause sickness in humans.
How do you make sure you’re eating safe meat?
Consumers are still urged to be cautious about in terms of the meat products they’re buying and eating. To ensure safety, ensure that the brand of meat you choose has the following:
The National Meat Inspection Services (NMIS) is the Department of Agriculture’s arm for regulating the quality of meat made available in the public. Whenever you’re buying meat, look for the NMIS stamp as a guarantee that the meat went through proper inspection and deemed safe.
Sanitary handling and packaging
As when buying any kind of food product from markets or supermarkets, pay extra attention to the way the product is handled and packaged. Ensure that the meat is well-packaged with no tears and excessive amounts of liquid.
Freshness and quality
You can easily evaluate the freshness and quality of meat using your senses—sight, smell, and touch. There should be no foul odor and quality pork cuts should be pinkish-red in color (fat should be white in color). Steer clear of meat that is pale and have dark spots.
Other helpful information
Some brands provide information such as a sell-by or consume-by date. Some packaging information also includes details on nutrition, preparation and handling, and origin.
Purchase meat only from brands you can trust. Monterey Meats are inspected and certified by the NMIS and follow the strictest animal and health protocol. Using hogs that are fed with only high quality and sanitized B-MEG feeds, Monterey provides meat products that are fresh and safe to consume. They also have expert butchers that ensure meat quality and freshness is maintained from their meat shops to your homes.
Monterey is committed to providing only the highest quality and safest meats for consumers. Siguristas concerned over the safety of their family’s food can rest assured that Monterey is indeed Meats You Can Trust. #MagtiwalaSaSigurado #MeatsYouCanTrust