Hotdog shortage? Meat processors say likely due to ban on imports from Brazil

April Rafales, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 19 2020 08:24 PM

MANILA - A meat industry group warned of a possible shortage of products like hotdogs and meatloaf because of the government's ban on imports of meat from Brazil.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) recently banned meat imports from Brazil after Chinese authorities reported detecting traces of the novel coronavirus in chicken meat shipped from the South American country. 

The DA ban covers mechanically deboned meat (MDM), which is used in products like meatloaf and hotdogs.

The Philippine Association of Meat Processors Inc (PAMPI) appealed to the Department of Agriculture to spare MDM from the import ban, saying it will affect the manufacture of goods.

PAMPI Spokesperson Rex Agarrado warned that this might even cause a shortage of meat products that use MDM.

“The gap for us to not act on this is only 2 weeks. If we don’t act on this beyond 2 weeks, actually mapuputol ang system (the system will be cut),” he said in an interview on Tuesday.

The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) however said the Brazilian government will have to prove that it has addressed the virus issue on its meat products before the bureau can recommend the lifting of the ban. 

BAI Director Ronnie Domingo explained that the virus is not necessarily eliminated when the MDM is processed.

The DA meanwhile said there is an oversupply of chicken in the country. Should the PAMPI need supplies of MDM, there are 12 other countries that export MDM chicken to the Philippines, the DA said. 

The DA also banned meat imports from Australia on Wednesday after avian flu was reported in that country.