INDONESIAN BULAN PORK

It is important for all of us to play our part in ensuring that food in Singapore is safe. Food safety is a shared responsibility between the government, industry, and public because food contamination can occur at any point in the food chain.

Singapore's Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) took no chances in taking pork meat samples for analysis. They analysed all the extra meat samples from other countries in two to three days, on top of the regular meats that they examine on a regular basis.

Singapore was not affected by the scandal involving rotten pork meat being sold with faked certificates, the incidents underscored the complexities of managing food safety in the face of a globalised supply chain. Singapore need to import most of its food as it is land scarce. We need to import from 170 countries worldwide over 90 percent of our food for the past two years.

In many cases, Singapore is better than many developed countries. Some Singapore regulations are even stricter than the US or Europe. It is a well-known fact that Singapore's regulatory system is a collection of the best practices around the world

Three AVA inspectors, including a supervisor, are stationed at the only pig abattoir in Singapore to conduct visual checks on over 6,000 pigs shipped from Bulan Island, off Batam. There are no deliveries on Fridays so they do it from Saturday to Thursday.

The inspectors keep an eye out for anomalies on the animals' gait, body condition, and skin colour as the pigs get from the barge into the abattoir, located at Buroh Lane near Jurong Port Road. One inspector will then inspect the meat, while the other checks the organs.

Pigs that pass the AVA inspection are then branded with a pink mark by a staff from the commercial abattoir. Pigs that fail the inspection, maybe two to three daily, will further be examined by an AVA supervisor who looks out for signs like abscesses in the liver.

If the anomaly is generalised, the whole pig is condemned, and they make a report. If the abscess is localised, they just remove it. All of the condemned samples, along with other random samples are subjected to a battery of tests for drug residues or parasites.

Once imported into Singapore, live animals like the Indonesian Bulan Pork are subjected to strict inspection and surveillance. This is to ensure that everyone will get to enjoy the fresh and safe Bulan pork for their daily meals.