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Bacteria pose bigger risk than chemical contamination of Vietnamese pork—New research

Selling pork in a traditonal Vietnamese market

Selling pork at a traditional ‘wet’ market in Hung Yen province, northern Vietnam (photo credit: ILRI/HUPH/Ngan Tran).

‘Forty eight out of 108 (44 per cent) cut pork meat samples collected at wet markets in Hưng Yên Province were found to contain the disease-causing bacteria Salmonella. . . .

‘The researchers determined that the probability of pork eaters in northern Hưng Yên Province becoming ill with salmonellosis from consuming infected pork in a given year is 18 per cent. . . ..

‘Salmonella is a common pathogen causing diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever and septicaemia in humans.

‘Another article published by the same research team found the human antibiotic drug chloramphenicol was found in 11 per cent of the packaged feed samples tested and 4 per cent of the pork in Hưng Yên and Nghệ An provinces, despite being banned in livestock production. . . .

“The key finding of the researchers is that bacteria pose a much bigger risk than chemical contamination of pork.

However, this risk can be avoided,” Nguyễn Việt Hùng, representative for East and Southeast Asia and a senior scientist in eco-health and food safety at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) told Việt Nam News.

Hùng and his co-authors applied risk-based approaches promoted by the Vietnamese Food Safety Law but not yet widely applied. These approaches, Hung said, should be expanded to determine human health risks of other food commodities. . . .

In their papers, the researchers recommend improving pork-handling and hygiene practices at slaughterhouses, markets and households to reduce the risk of contamination.

They also suggest that researchers, research communicators and government officials do more to communicate to consumers, traders, farmers and policymakers the realities of food safety risks and how best to manage those risks. . . .

The research was carried out by scientists at the Centre for Public Health and Ecosystem Research of the Hà Nội University of Public Health, ILRI and other partners.

‘The research was funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research.’

Read the whole article from Viet Nam NewsStudy finds bacteria in Vietnamese pork, 16 Mar 2017.

Read a related article published on the ILRI News blog: A deep dive inside Vietnam’s pork foodshed to determine food safety issues and their practical resolutions, 15 Mar 2017.

Read the research papers
Exposure assessment of chemical hazards in pork meat, liver, and kidney, and health impact implication in Hung Yen and Nghe An provinces, Vietnam, by Tran Thi Tuyet-Hanh (Hanoi University of Public Health, Hanoi), Dang Xuan Sinh (CENPHER, Hanoi), Pham Duc Phuc (CENPHER), Tran Thi Ngan (CENPHER), Chu Van Tuat (Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Hanoi), Delia Grace (ILRI), Fred Unger (ILRI) and Hung Nguyen-Viet (ILRI),International Journal of Public Health, Feb 2017, Volume 62, Supplement 1,  pp 75–82.

Quantitative risk assessment of human salmonellosis in the smallholder pig value chains in urban of Vietnam, bySinh Dang-Xuan (CENPHER, Hanoi), Hung Nguyen-Viet (ILRI), Fred Unger (ILRI), Phuc Pham-Duc (CENPHER), Delia Grace (ILRI), Ngan Tran-Thi (CENPHER), Max Barot (ILRI), Ngoc Pham-Thi (National Institute of Veterinary Research, Hanoi) and Kohei Makita (ILRI and Rakuno Gakuen University, Japan), International Journal of Public Health, Feb 2017, Volume 62, Supplement 1,  pp 93–102.

Related materials
Read other materials about the PigRisk project (‘Reducing disease risks and improving food safety in smallholder pig value chains in Vietnam’). Or visit the PigRisk wiki site.

For further information
Contact ILRI scientists Hung Nguyen (h.nguyen [at] cgiar.org) or Fred Unger (f.unger [at] cgiar.org).

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