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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Is imported meat and poultry safe?

A bird's eye view of CP farms
A bird's eye view of CP farms

Is imported meat and poultry safe?

Amidst recent outbreaks in Vietnam, there has been increased alarm in the Kingdom with regards to food safety. Avian influenza, swine flu, and many zoonotic (transmitted from animals to people) diseases are the biggest concern when purchasing live animals and meat that have been brought in from across the border.

Highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) infection is spread to people often through direct contact with infected poultry. Swine flu transmission happens through contact with contaminated surfaces. When the hand touches the mouth or nose it spreads. Infected droplets are expelled into the air through coughing or sneezing.

While news of the spread of the epidemic trickles in, Cambodians must be careful about the food they consume. Consumption of sick poultry or pig can cause dire health consequences including but not mutually exclusive to salmonella poisoning. The public are advised to ensure to purchase their meats from trusted suppliers, in addition to cooking it well in order to avoid any form of food poisoning.

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Dr. Kriangsak Laosakul, General Manager of Animal Health Department at C.P. Cambodia Co. Ltd., advises butchers and sellers to take the necessary precautions. “They must be concerned about acquiring meat from a qualified source in order for consumers to reduce a risk of contamination of food borne disease,” he stressed.

For farmers, biosecurity is paramount in curbing these outbreaks and must be extended to all parties that come in contact with the meat from the start for instance the personal hygiene of involved people. They must maintain high levels of personal hygiene prior to stepping foot into slaughter houses and wet markets. The animal itself must not be in contact with another animal that could potentially be a carrier of the disease, while the equipment and vehicles used to transport the poultry must be disinfected at all times.

“The sustainable solution is to encourage farmers to expand agriculture business and to educate them about food hygiene. Because the demand of consuming meat is higher than supply, the imported animals and other products are still available. If we are able to produce the highest quality pork meat and chicken meat for the market, it will help in reducing the imported animals and food products, which are a carrier of epidemic diseases in both animals and humans. Moreover, the standard of farm management is the most importance.” Dr. Laosakul said.

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CP places emphasis on improving and selecting breeds through natural means to obtain animal breeds that are suitable for the farmed environment and in line with consumer needs. Research in this area also leads to efficiencies in breeding and good feed conversion rates, which enhance profitability.

Additionally, experts in CP’s Vet Drug technical team are also willing and available to provide advice and consultations for animal health to anyone in need.

The company has proven to be a contending force in operating an integrated agriculture business – all of which play an important part in putting the CP on the world stage.

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