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MAF uncovers importation of prohibited raw pork

20 April 2006

MAF uncovers importation of prohibited raw pork from Korea

An investigation by the MAF Quarantine Service has uncovered the prohibited importation of raw minced pork cutlets from Korea, Biosecurity New Zealand announced today.

“The raw meat was part of six pallets of cooked ham products imported from Korea between August and December 2005. Raw meat imports from Korea are prohibited,” said Biosecurity New Zealand incursion response manager David Hayes.

The cutlets were discovered during routine surveillance of food distributors and retailers by MAF Quarantine Service staff looking for prohibited goods.

“While we have one of the best biosecurity systems in the world, we know that smuggling and non-compliance still occurs. Surveillance provides us with another line of defence against the introduction of unwanted pests and diseases,” he said.

The New Zealand Food Safety Authority advises that they have no food safety concerns about this particular product.

However MAF considers the cutlets may pose a small risk to our meat industries if the raw pork product is illegally fed to animals.

“This is a timely reminder of why New Zealand has strict regulations controlling feed to animals. Raw meat products must not be fed to farm animals under any circumstances,” Mr Hayes said.

If anyone is, or has been, in possession of this particular product (pictured) they are asked to hold it, keep it refrigerated and call 0800 809966.

“Other cooked pork product that was included within the same consignment is also under investigation, as it may have been incorrectly labelled and cleared. This material, however, poses a significantly lower risk than the raw pork cutlets, and so is not the primary focus of our inquiries,” Mr Hayes said.

ENDS

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