MANILA – The Department of Agriculture said Friday it ordered the temporary closure of a frozen meat supplier after some of its products tested positive for African Swine Fever or ASF.
A notice of closure was sent to North Star Meat Merchants Inc after some of its products displayed at the meat section of a grocery in Quezon City tested positive for ASF last Dec. 19, Agriculture Secretary Willam Dar said.
The meat that tested positive for ASF last December was an “isolated incident,” North Star said in a statement.
North Star said it was “working” with the DA to implement bio-security protocols including the disposal of potentially affected products, daily sanitation of facilities and the temporary suspension of plant operations for full sanitation, it said.
“We assure the public that our company conforms to the highest and most stringent processes to ensure that the regulatory guidelines are met and followed,” the statement said.
The company is under evaluation by the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), while the contaminated products were confiscated by the local government, the DA said.
Dar also ordered the NMIS to explain why the confiscated meat products bore the NMIS seal, which meant that it passed scrutiny and was certified ASF-free.
“Continuing incidences” of ASF infection still occur in Bulacan and Pampanga, Dar said. The DA first confirmed pigs' death due to ASF last September.
-- with a report from Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News