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Chickens in market safe to eat – Piñol

By CZARINA NICOLE O. ONG

Department of Agriculture (DA) Secretary Emmanuel Piñol assured the public yesterday that chickens being sold in the market right now are safe for consumption, given the stringent measures implemented by the government in the quarantine of bird flu-affected areas.

“What is being sold in the market now is safe,” he said during a press conference held at the DA building in Quezon City.

He added that the DA is “preventing the delivery of poultry products within the 7-kilometer radius of avian influenza-infected areas.”

In order to help assuage consumers even more, members of the DA will go around Metro Manila and put up signboards that say: “Chicken and poultry products are certified safe by the National Meat Inspecting Service.”

At the same time, Piñol announced that they are lifting the ban of shipment of poultry products from Luzon to other parts of the Philippines. However, they want certain conditions to be met first.

First, the shipment must not come from the 7-kilometer radius quarantine of San Luis, Jaen and San Isidro. Second, the shipment must be validated by the DA’s quarantine officers, and they must carry their seal of approval.

Piñol added that it’s now okay to ship chicken, chicks, and fresh eggs. Duck eggs, or “balut,” are also acceptable provided that these are cooked before being shipped.

“All other products not mentioned but coming from accredited farms and certified to be free from diseases will be allowed,” he continued.

Piñol explained that they made the decision to lift the shipment of poultry products based on several factors. Aside from passing biosecurity protocols, Piñol said they have a “more emotional consideration” – the pleadings of the farmers who want to get their businesses back on track.

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