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Food Safety Focus (156th Issue, July 2019) – Food Incident Highlight

Daily Clearance Arrangement in Slaughterhouses to Prevent Spreading of African Swine Fever

In view of the detection of two African Swine Fever (ASF) cases in Hong Kong recently, local slaughterhouses have strengthened cleansing and disinfection work. Such measures help prevent spreading of ASF virus.

Specifically, a daily clearance arrangement has been implemented in the slaughterhouses, whereby live pigs will be slaughtered within 24 hours upon admittance into the slaughterhouses. This new arrangement will allow lairages in different areas of the slaughterhouses to be cleared for thorough cleansing and disinfection on a daily basis. By limiting the period of stay for pigs in slaughterhouses followed by effective cleaning, the risk of infection among pigs in the slaughterhouses can be minimised.

ASF is a viral disease affecting pigs. However, this disease does not infect humans. Therefore, ASF is not a threat to human health and has no food safety risk. Thoroughly-cooked pork is safe for human consumption.