Sausages with ASF genome found in Russian groceries
Nov 1, 2019
Sausages under the brand name Buterbrodnaya containing the genome of African Swine Fever (ASF) were found in 136 stores in 5 Russian regions, Russian veterinary body Rosselhoznadzor said in a statement on its website October 21.
The virus DNA was also detected in the raw materials used to produce the sausages at several warehouses, Rosselhoznadzor added.
It is not clear how the virus entered the supply chain. In the statement, Rosselhoznadzor stressed that the finding was extremely strange, considering that the meat-processing plant that released the pork containing the ASF genome was sourcing its raw materials exclusively from the farms where no ASF outbreaks have been reported.
Sausages passing veterinary and sanitary inspections
The sausages containing virus’ DNA had all passed veterinary and sanitary inspections and had obtained the electronic veterinary certificate, Rosselhoznadzor said. As such, it is believed that majority of the potentially dangerous products were sold off at the time when the Russian veterinary officers revealed the presence of ASF genome, Rosselhoznadzor said. The agency added that the government agencies established a hotline to withdraw the infected products from the customers who purchased it.
Rosselhoznadzor said that in the Chelyabinsk region alone up to 285kg of sausages with the ASF genome could have been sold to customers. It is unclear what is the overall weight of products with virus genome that hit the market. Officially only one outbreak of ASF was ever registered in Chelyabinsk region, in November 2017.
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