April 29, 2009

Safe to eat pork

Source of Article:  http://www.straitstimes.com/Breaking%2BNews/Singapore/Story/STIStory_370201.html

By Ang Yiying

CONSUMERS should not be put off eating pork because of the swine flu.

Despite its name, there is no evidence that the disease came from pork, said the Asian Food Information Centre (AFIC) on Wednesday.

Set up in 1998, it aims to be a resource for science-based information on food safety, health and nutrition.

The Singapore-registered and Bangkok-based organisation was holding a half-day symposium on food safety initiatives in Asia Pacific at the Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel here.

'Just because there's an outbreak of influenza called swine flu doesn't mean that pork is unsafe,' said the centre's executive director George Fuller.

He reiterated that consumption of properly handled and cooked pork and pork products remain relatively safe as long as it has been cooked to an internal temperature of 70 degrees and above.

This echoes what the advice from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority earlier this week.

Commenting on the rojak food poisoning incident in early April, AFIC said that Singapore has high standards of food hygiene but both food providers and consumers should be mindful of the greatest food risk: cross-contamination of raw and cooked food.

Said Dr Fuller: 'Some obvious danger signs pointing towards possible food poisoning would include food that should be cold but is in fact lukewarm when served, or food that has been left standing for a long time.'





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