EIGHT tons of cut-up and marinated poultry meat worth an estimated P200,000 was confiscated by the Mandaue City Veterinary Office (MCVO) in the North Reclamation Area, Mandaue City on Oct. 28, 2020.
This, after the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries (DVMF) tipped off the MCVO that there was a refrigerated container van carrying expired poultry meat from a well-known food chain that was bound for Manila, possibly for reuse.
DVMF head Jennifer Laurente said their office received information from a reliable source that there was a commodity that was subject to rendering but the rendering plant contacted a third-party storage and refrigerated van.
She said if a commodity is subject to rendering, then it is supposedly for disposal as it is considered waste.
She added that with the storage van, they have come up with the allegation that the poultry meat will be recycled or reused.
“According to the guard, it was bound for Manila so we called the shipper but could not reach them, so there must be something wrong,” said Laurente.
Laurente coordinated with MCVO head Karen Merilles as the storage van was located in Mandaue City.
In a separate interview, Merilles said they are securing the container van.
With the help of the DVMP and the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS), the MCVO released a hold order meaning, it cannot be transported outside Cebu and is subject to disposal as soon as possible.
This action is to clear out issues of reusing the poultry products and to have an audience during the disposal, said Merilles.
The MCVO with the coordination of the NMIS, City Health Office and Food and Drug Administration will escort the company representative in their disposal scheduled on Friday, Oct. 29.
Merilles said they were supposed to dispose of the meat in Brgy. Umapad, Mandaue City but were refused as the Bureau of Customs also confiscated meat products for disposal in the area.
She added that they have arranged for the disposal to take place in Brgy. Talamban, Cebu City instead.
Merilles said: “Now, our priority is for the disposal to be safe but there is a succeeding investigation on this. We will endorse this to the national agencies, like NMIS, FDA, Department of Agriculture and the Provincial Veterinary Office.”
Merilles will make the incident report and meet with the legal office regarding this as the company violated the Food Safety Act. (KFD)