The Bureau of Plant Industry, an attached agency of the Agriculture Department, said it has intensified measures to prevent the entry of Granny apples contaminated with Listerosis bacteria from the US.
The bureau said it alerted all ports of entry in the country to closely monitor the possible entry of the products.
The Trade Department, two weeks ago, called for the recall of the shipment from California apple packer Bidart Bros. to the Philippines, after an advisory by the US Food and Drugs Administration alerted the Philippine government of such shipment.
The US FDA said exposure to the bacteria might cause Listeriosis, a rare but serious illness that could cause death. It can also cause flu-like symptoms, diarrhea and meningitis.
The agency said it immediately alerted the country’s main ports, including the Manila International Container Port and South Harbor, to strictly monitor the entry of apple imports. The bureau’s port operations consist of inspection and taking of samples arriving in the country.
“Our office is verifying the issued sanitary and phyto-sanitary import clearance if such importation is already in the country,” BPI director Paz Benavidez II said.