AVA refutes rumours over China-imported bak kwa that may contain rat, fox and mink flesh

The majority of bak kwa in Singapore is produced locally, using raw pork from countries such as Australia, Brazil and Spain. PHOTO: THE NEW PAPER

SINGAPORE - The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) has refuted rumours circulating via e-mail that the majority of bak kwa sold in Singapore comes from China and may contain rat, fox and mink flesh.

In a Facebook statement on Monday (Feb 1) night, it assured the public that most of the bak kwa here is produced locally, with raw pork sourced from countries such as Australia, Brazil and Spain.

Less than 5 per cent of the pork is sourced from two establishments in China that are approved to export semi-processed frozen sliced pork - which is subsequently heat-treated - to Singapore, AVA said.

Bak kwa, or barbecued sweet meat, is a popular snack served traditionally at Chinese New Year.

AVA added in its statement: "We conduct regular authenticity tests on all imported meat products. So far, imported meat products, including those from China, have passed our authenticity tests.

"All imported meat consignments are required to be accompanied with health certificates duly endorsed by the overseas competent authority."

AVA also said that there is no establishment in Malaysia approved to export bak kwa to Singapore.

In a joint advisory issued by the AVA and Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) last month, bak kwa - considered a pork product - was included on the list of items travellers are barred from bringing into the country from Malaysia.

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