TOTOO BA: It is not safe to eat pork because of swine flu outbreak?

by Justine Punzalan
Nov 1, 2019
"“We want to reiterate to the public that ASF is not a threat to human health,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
PHOTO/S: freepik.com

Umiiwas ka bang kumain ng pork dahil sa swine flu?

Para hindi maalarma ang mga Pinoy tungkol sa pagkain ng paborito nilang pork dishes, naglabas ng official statement ang Department of Health (DOH) tungkol sa sakit na ito affecting only the pigs.

Ito ay lumabas sa website ng DOH noong September 9, 2019: "The Department of Health (DOH) today declared that African Swine Flu (ASF) is not a risk to human health after the Department of Agriculture confirmed that 14 out of 20 pig samples tested positive for ASF."

If you're still having apprehensions, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III assures the public: "We want to allay the fears of the public by saying that, as long as pork is bought from reliable sources and it is cooked thoroughly, pork is safe to eat."

Narito pa ang mga dapat mong malaman tungkol sa virus na ito that can cause hemorrhagic fever among pigs.

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WHAT IS AFRICAN SWINE FLU?

Ayon sa World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE), ito ay isang highly contagious disease targeting domestic and wild pigs.

Ang virus ay napapasa from one pig to another through "direct contact with infected domestic or wild pigs, ingestion of contaminated material (e.g. food waste, feed, or garbage)," at kapag ang isang pig ay dinapuan o kinagat ng "contaminated fomites, ticks, or blood-sucking insects."

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Kadalasan, ang mga baboy na infected with ASF ay nagkakalagnat, nade-depress, nawawala ng gana sa pagkain, namumula ang tenga, nagsusuka, at nagkaka-diarrhea na nagiging sanhi ng pagkamatay nila.

Ani OIE, "Mortality rates may be as high as 100%."

STATUS OF SWINE FLU IN THE PHILIPPINES

At press time, pitong barangay sa Pilipinas ang affected ng ASF.

Kasama rito ang San Jose, Macabud, San Isidro, San Rafael at Mascap sa Rizal, Cupang sa Antipolo, at Guiguinto sa Bulacan.

Para mapigilan ang paglaganap nito, nag-implement ang Department of Agriculture ng 1-7-10 protocol sa mga hog raisers na kung saan "all pigs within 1-kilometer radius of infected farms will be culled; limit animal movement and swine farms will be under strict surveillance and testing within a 7-kilometer radius; swine farms within a 10-kilometer radius will be required to submit a mandatory report on the disease."

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Nanawagan rin si Agriculture Secretary William Dar sa lahat ng meat distributors sa bansa na lahat sila ay “required to secure their respective permits from the National Meat Inspection Service or respective LGUs [local government units].”

Bukod pa rito, nagsagawa rin ng "lockdown" ang gobyerno sa ilang ASF-infected zones sa Bulacan at Pampanga, at binalaan ang publiko na lahat ng magbebenta ng ASF-contaminated pork products ay aarestuhin.

Over 30,000 pigs nationwide have also been culled para pigilan ang paglaganap ng virus.

Pero sa kabila ng extensive efforts ng gobyerno sa isyung ito, may ilan pa ring pig raisers napiniling lumabag sa batas.

Noong October 24, 2019, inilahad ni Agriculture Spokesperson Noel Reyes na may nakumpiskang ASF-contaminated hotdog, tocino, at longganisa ang mga opisyal mula sa isang indibidwal patungong Mindoro from Central Luzon.

In an interview with CNN Philippines, sinabi ni Spokesperson Noel Reyes na binaon na rin nila sa lupa ang meat products na ito.

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Aniya, "Confiscated na po iyan at nailibing na po yung mga produktong iyon."

DAPAT BANG IWASAN NG TO ANG PAGKAIN NG PORK?

Ayon sa DOH, posibleng maging carrier ng swine flu ang tao, pero hindi kailangang maalarma kasi hindi ito harmful sa health.

“We want to reiterate to the public that ASF is not a threat to human health,” madiin na sinabi ni Health Secretary Duque.

Gayunpaman, ini-engganyo pa rin ng DOH ang publiko to practice safety measures against the controversial pig disease.

Paano?

Una, bumili ng pork or meat products from reliable, ASF-free sources.

Pangalawa, store and cook pork properly para maiwasan ang impeksiyon.

Healthline.com suggests, "Wrap pork tightly and minimize exposure to air to prevent the meat from drying out."

"Raw meats should also be stored on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator to avoid transferring bacteria to other foods."

And do not forget: Whether raw or cooked, it should be stored in your refrigerator below 40°F (4°C) three to four days. lamang below 40°F (4°C).

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Kapag lulutuin ang karne, gamitan ng tamang temperature: 145°F (63°C) para sa steaks, chops, at roasts, while at least 160°F (71°C) para naman sa organ meat at ground pork.

Dagdag pa ng Healthline.com, "Don’t leave pork at room temperature for more than two hours to protect against the growth of bacteria."

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"“We want to reiterate to the public that ASF is not a threat to human health,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
PHOTO/S: freepik.com
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