On Saturday, Philippines-based Mekeni Food Corp. ordered a recall of all its pork products after reports that some had tested positive for African swine fever (ASF).
Mekeni, a processed meats manufacturer, submitted samples of its products to the Bureau of Animal Industry under the Department of Agriculture and an independent testing facility, ABS CBN News reports.
The company said in a statement that this decision was made to mitigate the possibility that their products could inadvertently serve as carriers of this deadly disease of pigs. Although ASF does not pose any risk to human health and the products are safe to consume, the company said they do not want to further spread this disease.
"For everyone's peace of mind, we are doing everything that we can to validate this issue and have full transparency on the testing procedure conducted by the Bureau of Animal Industry," Mekeni said.
ASF is not a food safety risk
There is no evidence that ASF infects humans. ASF is not a public health threat or food safety concern.
“There is no physical way a human can contract ASF,” says Dr. Kevin Sharrett, a primary care physician from Ohio. “It cannot be transmitted to humans through contact with pigs or pork.”
ASF is transmitted to pigs through direct contact with infected pigs, their waste, blood, contaminated clothing, feed, equipment and vehicles, and in some cases, some tick species. That’s why it’s extremely important for people to follow good biosecurity practices around pigs.
“Most viruses demonstrate some degree of host restriction; they replicate in one cell type or host and not in another. While there are exceptions, this is the general rule, not the exception. In the case of the ASF virus, there is no evidence supporting either subclinical or clinical infection of humans,” says Dr. Dan Rock, professor in the Department of Pathobiologies at the University of Illinois.
For more information on ASF, visit porkbusiness.com/ASF.
More from Farm Journal's PORK: