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DoH Issues Warning Against Salmonella-tainted Pork

by 5m Editor
2 February 2009, at 7:20am

THE PHILIPPINES - The Department of Health (DoH) in Eastern Visayas has warned people about pork infected with salmonella bacteria.

Health officials have urged consumers to buy only pork meat that was certified by the National Meat Inspection Services (NMIS), in the wake of reports that Salmonella infected hundreds of hogs in one Samar town alone, said Boyd Cerdo, regional sentinel nurse of the Department of Health for Eastern Visayas.

Salmonella is harmful to humans and can cause diarrhea. Humans can contract salmonella by eating the meat of infected animals, Cerdo said.

“Salmonella bacteria are present in the intestines of the infected animal. For this reason, we at the Department of Health strongly advise against its consumption,“ he said.

The regional office of the Department of Health has reported that salmonella has infected about 750 pigs from various villages of Sta. Rita town in Samar.

Eighty-four of these hogs were confirmed to have died due to the bacteria, reports Inquirer.net. The Department of Health said the emergence of the bacteria could have been caused by poor sanitation, contaminated feeds, improper care of animals and even the bad weather condition.

Cerro also warned that the waste of the sick pigs could also contaminate water sources, since some of these were stray animals.

“That is why, we urged the Department of Agriculture to intensify its campaign [against the infected hogs], especially on its quarantine procedure,“ Cerro said.

Since Salmonella in pigs was detected in the region last December, the health department had not monitored persons getting sick due to the bacteria from affected pigs, Cerro said.

The National Meat Inspection Services, an agency of the Department of Agriculture, earlier received reports that salmonella affected pigs in other towns like in Burauen, Dagami, both in Leyte and even Tacloban City.

But these cases had yet to be confirmed, NMIS supervising officer Doctor Claro Dennis Morantte said.

Morantte said health inspectors in the region were ordered to report immediately any occurrence of the bacteria in their respective areas.

The NMIS strictly prohibited clandestine slaughtering of hogs, he said.

“We have also put up some check points, particularly in Sta. Rita, to control the movements of those animals,“ Morantte added.

The NMIS also recommended the isolation of pigs showing symptoms of the disease that include the loss of appetite, diarrhea and fever ranging from 40 degrees Celsius up to 42 degrees Celsius.