As a precautionary measure, the Department of Agriculture DA) has imposed a temporary ban on the importation of poultry meat from Brazil after reports of the presence of SARS-COV-2, the causative agent of the coronavirus disease 2019 on chicken wings in a screening conducted in Longgang District of Shenzhen, in China.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reported there are more than three million confirmed COVID-19 cases in Brazil with a significant number observed among workers in meat establishments.
In a memorandum order dated August 14, DA Secretary William cited the Food Safety Act of 2013 in imposing the ban.
Dar assured that chicken products currently in the market are safe to eat.
NMIS executive director Reildrin Morales said the ban was implemented because of the health issue of meat processing workers in Brazil and not because of fears of disease transmission.
“FAO (United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization) and WHO provided technical guidance that since COVID-19 is respiratory, its transmission through bio food items like meat is zero to negligible. Our basis for the ban is we just want to find out the status of human health of their workers…it is among the factors needed when we accredit meat establishments,” Morales said.