PHNOM PENH, March 21 (Xinhua) -- The public in Cambodia has been warned not to eat pork from Vietnam after an outbreak of a serious disease in pig farms across the border, local media reported on Tuesday, citing an official.
The Agriculture Ministry's department of animal health and production is enforcing additional precautionary measures to ensure contaminated pork from Vietnam does not make its way into Cambodia.
Sen Sovann, head of the department of animal health and production, said additional inspections will be conducted along the border as well as at local pig farms to prevent salmonella-infected pork from being imported into Cambodia after reports emerged last week that Vietnam was culling infected pigs.
"For us in Cambodia, this outbreak has yet to happen because I have assigned my officials and provincial officials since Saturday to intervene to monitor the symptoms," he was quoted as saying by the Khmer Times.
"And also, we have to intervene because we are afraid that Vietnam is running out of measures and may export those products to us," he said.
"In Vietnam, they have taken action to curb the bacteria known as salmonella which usually is found in pigs. This kind of bacteria creates high levels of endotoxin and laboratory tests found high levels of endotoxins in the pigs there, so Vietnam destroyed those animals," he added.
Salmonella is a common pathogen which can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever and blood poisoning in humans.
Sam Vitou, the executive director for the Cambodian Center for Study and Development in Agriculture, explained that salmonella was one of the most common bacteria found in pigs, which could in turn infect humans who have eaten pork.
"Basically, humans and pigs have similar organ systems. So when there is a diseased pig, we could also be infected and face serious danger," he was quoted as saying by the newspaper.
"If we don't adequately cook the pork, consumers can be seriously infected."