The National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) has warned the public, especially those engaged with online transactions, to be careful in buying imported meat.
The DA-NMIS issued the warning following the recent confiscation of at least 3,090 kilos of expired pork masks from Germany and 1,300 kilos of expired beef forequarters in a storage facility in Balut, Tondo, Manila.
The NMIS stressed that consumers must ensure that the meat traders and vendors have the corresponding documents, such as the Certificate of Meat Inspection (COMI), to guarantee that the imported meat has gone through a thorough inspection and is safe for consumption.
The NMIS-National Capital Region (NCR) led by its enforcement unit head Vener Santos together with the DA-Wide Field Inspectorate Office headed by Assistant Secretary James A. Layug, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and the Regional Special Operations Task Group (RSOTG) of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) conducted the joint operation in response to a confidential report regarding the illegal trade of banned, expired, and undocumented meat commodities within the locale.
The contraband originating from Germany, which has an existing importation ban due to concerns of African Swine Fever (ASF) that is deemed detrimental to the hog sector, has an estimated amount of P556,000.
Meanwhile, the confiscated beef commodities had an estimated cost amounting to P455,000.
The owner has yet to issue a statement.
This initiative is part of the stern measures of the regulatory agencies to combat the illegal trade of banned and unsafe meat.