TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Investigators in Tainan City found mooncakes imported from Vietnam to be infected with African swine fever, while two portions of meat at a Southeast Asian shop in Changhua County also turned out positive, reports said Wednesday (Aug. 25).
A Vietnamese mother and daughter were detained last weekend after they were found to have been smuggling a number of controlled items, including pork products, into Taiwan. Over the past three years, the country succeeded in keeping out infected meat products, mostly from China.
The Tainan District Prosecutors Office said it had found three mooncakes at the home of a resident of the city's Madou District named Chen (陳) on Monday (Aug. 23). The cakes, popular during the Mid-Autumn Festival, had been smuggled from Vietnam and tested positive for African swine fever, the Liberty Times reported.
At present, there was no evidence that others had also bought the same brand of mooncakes, though inspectors were still checking their origin. Prosecutors warned that no vaccine was available and that once a pig was infected with the fever, it was highly unlikely to survive.
In a separate case, an inspection at a Southeast Asian shop in Changhua County found the African swine fever had infected two sausages, which were immediately destroyed, CNA reported. Several products at the store reportedly did not carry any labels telling customers of their origin and ingredients.
One concern is that hog farmers will give food waste to their animals, which could infect them with the fever. The waste should be cooked for at least an hour with a core temperature of at least 90 degrees Celsius, but the best way would be to give the animals only pig feed to eat, officials have advised.
The authorities said Wednesday they were tightening their supervision of waste food management, in particular barrels of food leftovers put outside by private individuals and businesses. People were advised to dump meat products of questionable origin with other trash and not mix them with food leftovers for recycling.