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Probe on Pork from Dead Pigs for Processed Foods

by 5m Editor
16 May 2011, at 8:14am

MALAYSIA - The Health Ministry is investigating media reports that meat from dead pigs were used to make processed food, said Food Safety and Quality Division senior director Noraini Datuk Mohd Othman.

According to Bernama.com, she said the ministry took a serious view of the report and if proved unfounded, the parties involved can be hauled up under Section 13A of Food Act 1983.

The section provides for prohibition of preparation and sale of food containing diseased animals or rotten vegetables or animal parts unsuitable as food like dead animals or those killed during hunting.

"Those who violate this section can be fined not more RM50,000 or jailed not more eight years or both," she said in a statement here Friday.

Ms Othman urged consumers not to worry about food safety as the ministry will not compromise on the matter and always monitor food sold in the market.

It became an issue when NTV7's Mandarin of Edisi Siasat reported that pig farmers in Tanjung Sepat, Selangor sold carcasses to make pork sausage, smoked pork,dim sum and pau.

Malaysian pigs get IDs to protect pork eaters

Meanwhile, The Straits Times reports that the country will give locally-reared pigs embedded identity discs in a bid to stop the illegal slaughter and distribution of meat that is unfit for human consumption, reports said on Sunday.

This follows the revelation by Malaysian pork sellers association chief Goh Chui Lai over the weekend that unhealthy pigs were being slaughtered at illegal abattoirs, resulting in unhygienic meat being distributed nationwide.

Malaysian veterinary services department chief Abdul Aziz Jamaluddin told the New Straits Times daily that radio-frequency identification (RFID) disc would now be placed beneath the skin of each pig in order to track it.

"Any mismatch between the number of pigs reared in each farm and the number slaughtered at licensed abattoirs will be considered suspicious," he told the paper.

"Normally, pig farmers will only send healthy animals to licensed abattoirs. However, some are known to send the unhealthy ones to illegal abattoirs, which mainly operate in (central) Selangor and Negri Sembilan (states)," he added.

Confirming Mr Abdul Aziz's comments, a senior veterinary department official told AFP the rollout was expected to begin by the middle of the year. Health ministry officials said they were also investigating the distribution of unhygienic pork. Illegal abattoirs continue to operate in Malaysia despite regular crackdowns.