The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Monday said it prohibits the display or sale of frozen products in public markets without properly-equipped refrigeration facilities as it strives to improve the safe selling of meat, both frozen and fresh.
“The improper storage and thawing of frozen meat products, particularly in open public markets, presents a significant risk in the safety of meat products for sale,” it said.
The DA’s statement came with a warning to the general public not to buy frozen meat products if these are not stored in chillers or freezers.
It also clarified that DA Secretary William Dar did not say that frozen pork is better than freshly slaughtered pork.
“The DA recommended the setting up of price ceilings on pork and dressed chicken upon consultations with swine industry players, consumers’ groups, and local government units,” it noted.
Agricultural group Samahang Industriya ng Agrikultura (Sinag) earlier expressed dismay over the unsanitary dumping of frozen meat in public wet markets.
“This is not only illegal but poses food safety risks and public health concerns while the country is still reeling from the Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic,” it said.
The DA noted that the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) ensures that meats for sale in public wet markets are handled safely.
“DA Administrative Order No. 6 Series of 2012 stipulates the rules and regulations on hygienic handling of chilled, frozen, and thawed meat in public and private markets — prohibits the display or sale of frozen products in public markets without properly- equipped refrigeration facilities,” it said.”The DA, therefore, warns the general public not to buy frozen meat products if these are not stored in chillers or freezers,” it added. SOVEREIGNPH