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Food Safety Focus (211st Issue, February 2024) – Article 4

African Swine Fever Does Not Pose Food Safety Concern

Recently, there were local pigs tested positive for African Swine Fever (ASF) virus. ASF is a highly contagious viral disease affecting pigs, but it does not infect humans.

To minimise the risk of ASF in slaughterhouses, a daily clearance arrangement has been implemented since June 2019, whereby all live pigs will be slaughtered within 24 hours upon admittance into the slaughterhouses. Lairages will be cleared out for thorough cleansing and disinfection every day. Live pig vehicles are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected every time they leave the slaughterhouse, and the respective designated positions for the cleaning and disinfection of vehicles carrying local and imported pigs are separated. Disinfection pools have been installed near the entrance gate to facilitate disinfection of wheels for pig-conveying trucks entering and leaving slaughterhouse. All pigs have to undergo ante-mortem and post-mortem inspections before supply to the market to ensure that they are fit for consumption.

Though ASF is not a zoonotic disease and poses no food safety concern, pork should be cooked thoroughly before consumption to reduce any risk caused by foodborne pathogens.