|Pork on sale at a local market. There are fears that meat contaminated with salmonella could end up in a market like this. Supplied|
Khmer Times/Pech Sotheary Tuesday, 21 March 2017
The public has been warned not to eat pork from Vietnam after an outbreak of a serious disease in pig farms across the border.
The Agriculture Ministry’s department of animal health and production is enforcing additional precautionary measures to ensure contaminated pork from Vietnam does not make its way into Cambodia.
Sen Sovann, the department’s director-general, said additional inspections will be conducted along the border as well as at local pig farms to prevent salmonella-infected pork from being imported into Cambodia after reports emerged last week that Vietnam was culling infected pigs.
“For us in Cambodia, this outbreak has yet to happen because I have assigned my officials and provincial officials since Saturday to intervene to monitor the symptoms,” he said.
|Officials make regular checks on imported food. Supplied|
“And also, we have to intervene because we are afraid that Vietnam is running out of measures and may export those products to us.
“In Vietnam, they have taken action to curb the bacteria known as salmonella which usually is found in pigs. This kind of bacteria creates high levels of endotoxin and laboratory tests found high levels of endotoxins in the pigs there, so Vietnam destroyed those animals,” he added.
According to Vietnamese news outlet Viet Nam News, a recent study revealed that 44 percent of pork sampled from 2014 to 2015 in the northern Hung Yen province was found to have been infected with salmonella.
The study also found that those who consumed the contaminated pork had an 18 percent probability of becoming ill as a result.
|Pork for sale in a market in Phnom Penh. Supplied|
Salmonella is a common pathogen which can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever and blood poisoning in humans.
Sam Vitou, the executive director for the Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture, explained that salmonella was one of the most common bacteria found in pigs, which could in turn infect humans who have eaten pork.
“Basically, humans and pigs have similar organ systems. So when there is a diseased pig, we could also be infected and face serious danger,” he said.
“If we don’t adequately cook the pork, consumers can be seriously infected.”
In January, 213 people, mostly primary school students, were treated for food poisoning after being given contaminated pork.
|Government officers checking imported food products. Supplied|