Tiang explains for safety measures, wooden chopping boards have at least one inch ground off the top, bottom and sides. – Photo by Peter Boon
SIBU: A cleaning and sanitising exercise was conducted at the stalls of 31 pork dealers in markets under Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) to prevent the spread of African Swine Fever (ASF).
According to SMC market and petty traders standing committee chairman, councillor Albert Tiang, the exercise was to ensure the licensees cleaned up their stalls as well as their ‘contaminated’ tools and equipment.
“They have to do a thorough cleaning and sanitisation,” he told reporters when met at the Sibu Central Market today, where SMC and Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) Sibu personnel led by assistant veterinary officer Anthony Janggu were monitoring the exercise.
Tiang said stall operators will be allowed to resume operations once DVS Sarawak has given the green light.
“Pork dealers will not be able to operate temporarily. For the record, SMC does not stop them from trading.
“Once DVS Sarawak has given the approval and they are satisfied with the cleaning and sanitising works, they can resume their operations,” he said.
According to a cleaning and sanitising schedule sighted by The Borneo Post, the one-hour exercise started at 8am at both SMC and Sibu Rural District Council (SRDC) pork markets.
This was followed by deep-cleaning and washing between 9am to 12pm at all stalls concerned, while disinfection was conducted from 2pm to 5pm.
Tiang said the source of the pork has to be certified by DVS to ensure ASF will not spread to other places, adding such stringent measures were crucial to safeguarding the pig farming industry in Sibu.
Towards this end, he revealed in Sibu, there are 69 pork dealers in total.
From this total, 38 are private pork shops while 31 are licensees under SMC’s markets.
According to a memo from DVS Sarawak, pork sellers and pork shop owners are to dispose of all contaminated pork products; deep-clean and sanitise related items; and sanitise the premises during this exercise.
Workers cleaning the pork stalls at Sibu Central Market. – Photo by Peter Boon
This includes the disinfection of all washable items, thorough cleaning and scrubbing of walls, tables, rails, storage and chopping stumps as well as clearing of drainage and blockages.
All items that have come into contact with contaminated pork products such as plastic bags, ropes, string, wood, wood pellets, polystyrene boxes, used boots, cooler boxes and other items including meat and meat products in the freezer must be disposed of.
All equipment such as knives, hooks, torches, buckets, spoons, ladles, liquefied petroleum gas tanks and other items found during the operation must also be thoroughly cleaned and soaked with disinfectant for at least 30 minutes before rinsing and drying.
For safety measures, wooden chopping boards must have at least one inch ground off the top, bottom and sides before reuse.
Machinery such as meat grinders, scales and deep chest freezers must be dismantled, if possible, and be thoroughly cleaned. These machines will not be allowed to be removed from the premises.