Frozen pork dumpling shipped to the Philippines found to contain African swine fever virus

News

While the world has been swept over the ever evolving hazard caused by the recent Wuhan corona-virus, another virus had been detected in Manila, Philippines.

Wanchai Ferry, a famous Hong Kong brand that sells frozen pork products which includes pork-chicken balls, roast chicken wings and pork-celery dumplings has been seized of its shipment to Manila last December.

The pork-celery dumplings in particular had been found to be infected with African swine fever.

Credit: Unsplash (Image for illustration purpose only)

“After 100% examination of its contents and undergoing laboratory test from the Veterinary Quarantine Services (VQS), the pork-celery dumplings indicated the presence of ASF virus,” The Bureau Of Customs (BOC) mentioned to CNN.

The shipment raised suspicion due to the absence of sanitary permit from the Bureau of Animal Industry of Philippines. Cosigned to Dynamic M Int’l Trading, Inc., the container docked at Manila North Harbor on December 11, 2019.

Since the inspection,  the Manila International Container Port (MICP) has ordered that the packages be buried underground to further prevent the spread of possible disease. Though the ASF virus only affects animals, officials are on high alert to entirely negate the impact of contamination, if there’s any.

In another updated news, the actual Wanchai Ferry had declared that they do not ship their products to the Philippines. As gathered from their Facebook post, their products are exclusively distributed to Hong Kong, Mainland China as well as Europe.

“[We] do not export goods to the Philippines directly or through any distributors. We have been contacting the concerned authorities to track down the batch of products involved,” read a statement released by their representative as shared by South China Morning Post.

Wanchai Ferry was first acknowledged of the issue when it identified a photo released by the Philippines authorities that had a simplified version of the company’s name in Chinese characters, bearing much similarity to its original product brand image.

The first case of swine fever in Philippines was reported in July last year which caused an outbreak and prompted an immediate import ban on pork and pork products which sustains over 16 countries affected by the virus including Hong Kong, Macau and the Mainland.

Both countries released official statements indicating follow-up investigations were being conducted to find out the source of the shipment as well as to track down any possible contaminated products in near future.