Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 12/25/2012 05:17 | By Channel NewsAsia

No problems with chicken supply from Shandong: AVA

No problems with chicken supply from Shandong: AVA

No problems with chicken supply from Shandong: AVA

SINGAPORE: Authorities said Singapore’s chicken supply has not been affected by China’s latest tainted food scare.

Some chicken farms in Shandong are now being investigated after Shanghai authorities found a suspicious level of antibiotics in chicken from a fast food chain.

Over the last two years, Singapore has imported about 350 kg of poultry products from Shandong.

But the Agri—Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has not found any problems with the shipment.

Experts said antibiotics are commonly used in chicken farms as they can protect poultry from diseases while helping them to grow faster.

But the medication stops about a week before the chickens are slaughtered to prevent retention of the drug.

"If we ingest a lot of meat that has been tainted with antibiotics, it may cause a reduction in good (bacterial) flora," said Ms Lee Yee Lin, veterinary surgeon at Animal Recovery Centre.

"Sometimes, with traces of penicillin, it can cause allergic reactions to humans who have penicillin allergies."

But experts pointed out that excess antibiotics may build immunity towards some bacteria in animals.

If the animal retains the bacteria, it may be transmitted to human beings through different ways.

Ms Lee said: "Bacteria may be passed by the environmental factors; the wind, the dust, the water, or sometimes the bacteria may be present on the meat itself, so when we handle the raw meat with our hands and (if) we are not careful and we start ingesting, we are actually ingesting the bacteria."

AVA said all meat imported are subject to a battery of tests — including for antibiotics and hormones — before they are allowed to be sold.

Singapore has not banned any meat imports from China in the last two years.

— CNA/xq

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