KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The Health Ministry will conduct sampling on pork-based products to ensure that they are free from contamination of the African Swine Fever (ASF) virus.
Health Ministry director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the sampling was to verify the effectiveness of the retort process, a food processing method.
In a statement today, he said the ministry through its Food Safety and Quality Division was also working together with the Sarawak Veterinary Services Department to closely monitor the situation.
Dr Noor Hisham said the Veterinary Services Department had advised consumers to refrain from buying pork-based products and urged farmers to stop swill feeding practices to prevent the risk of ASF.
According to Section 13A of the Food Act 1983, any person who prepares or sells food that consists of any diseased, filthy, decomposed animal or vegetable substance can be fined of up to RM50,000, face a jail term of not exceeding eight years or both upon conviction.
It was previously reported that Sarawak had imposed a ban on all pork meat and pork-based products imported from ASP-infected countries including China until further notice.
The move was taken after the Veterinary Public Health Laboratory in Bandar Baru Salak Tinggi in Sepang, Selangor detected the DNA ASF virus in a luncheon pork product which was imported from China, in the state on Oct 25.
The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry also announced the ASF outbreaks had been confirmed in 10 Asian countries namely China, Mongolia, Vietnam, Cambodia, North Korea, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, South Korea and Timor Leste.
ASF is a highly contagious haemorrhagic viral disease caused by a DNA virus of the Asfaviridae family, attacks domestic and wild pigs and can cause up to 100 per cent death of infected pigs, within two to 10 days.
However, ASF is a non-zoonotic disease as it is a disease of animals and does not infect humans. - Bernama