200 kilos of red tide-affected shellfish seized in Baguio market

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BAGUIO CITY – Some 200 kilos of red tide-affected shellfish from the shores of Western Pangasinan were seized by combined operatives of the city Public Order and Safety Division (POSD) and the City Veterinary Office during a surprise operation inside the various stalls within the fish section of the Baguio City Public Market recently.

Retired Senior Inspector Policarpio Cambod, POSD chief, said the red tide-affected shellfish were packed in seven sacks and were said to have come from red tide-affected areas in Wawa Lake, Bani, Bolinao and Anda, all in Western Pangasinan.

“The seized shellfish turned out to be positive for paralytic shellfish poisoning that is why we are closely monitoring the supply of shellfish being brought to the public market to ensure that they are safe for public consumption,” Cambod said.

He added the POSD and City Veterinary Office are requiring all fish and fishery products to be accompanied by auxiliary invoice issued by the concerned local governments where they come from to ensure the safety of the products for the benefit of the consumers.

In Shellfish Bulletin No. 32, series of 2014 issued on December 10, 2014 by Atty. Asis Perez, Director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), it stated ‘based on the latest laboratory results of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and local government units, shellfishes collected at the coastal waters of Milagros in Masbate, coastal waters of Bolinao, Anda, Alaminos City and Wawa, Bani in Pangasinan and Bataan coastal waters (Mariveles, Limay, Orion, Pilar, Balanga, Orani, Abucay and Samal) are still positive for paralytic shellfish poison that is beyond the regulatory limit, thus, shellfish and other types of fishes and plants gathered from the said areas are not safe for public consumption.”

However, the bulletin stated “fish, squids, shrimps, and crabs are safe for human consumption provided that they are fresh and washed thoroughly, and internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking.”

Cambod said the seized contaminated shellfish were immediately buried in a pit that was dug up by his personnel in order to prevent the distribution of the contaminated products from being sold to the public.

Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan commended the combined POSD and City Veterinary personnel for their unrelenting and uncompromising efforts to rid the City Public Market from harmful products that may compromise the safety and health condition of the consumers.

“We are elated over the vigilance of our personnel in monitoring the sale of banned products in our market because we do not want the safety and health of our people to be sacrificed just for the interest of some enterprising traders to earn income,” Domogan stressed.

He called on market vendors to also be vigilant in checking the products being sold to them by their suppliers so that they will not be contaminated and would cause harm to the consumers in the future.

Domogan directed law enforcement agencies to extend utmost assistance to the POSD and City Veterinary personnel in the conduct of series of operations against the sale of harmful products to ensure their safety from those businessmen whose trade is affected due to the uncompromising operations inside the City Public Market facility.

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