Metro Manilans warned against ‘double dead bangus’ | Inquirer News

Metro Manilans warned against ‘double dead bangus’

/ 03:02 AM June 03, 2011

MANILA, Philippines—“Botcha Bangus,” anyone?

Even bounties of the sea have their own “double dead” wares after health officials seized 400 kilos of milkfish (bangus) at a Quezon City market notorious for its “botcha,” or pork unfit for human consumption.

The confiscated fish were from Batangas and Dagupan City in Pangasinan which were recently affected by a fishkill, according to city veterinarian, Ana Marie Cabel.


“The vendors who were left behind told us that their wares were from the fishport, but one look at the fish gave it away. The bangus was not fresh at all,” Cabel told the Inquirer.


The health official led meat inspectors in a follow-up operation at several market stalls along Old Samson Road in Balintawak at around 5 a.m. on Thursday.

The Balintawak area, which is home to several public and private markets, is often the target of raids by the city veterinary office because of the proliferation of “botcha” or “double dead pork.”


The sudden inspection sent a dozen vendors scampering, leaving their milkfish behind.

Others, Cabel said, were slower on their feet but when questioned by authorities, they insisted that their milkfish were not from the fishkill-affected provinces.

Fortunately for the vendors, the health department decided to let them off after a stern warning.


“I gave them the benefit of the doubt, because some of them may have been duped by the dealers who may have misled them into believing that the fish was safe to eat,” Cabel explained.

But should the vendors persist in the illegal trade, they may be charged with violating the Consumer Act of the Philippines which is also the same law used to prosecute those selling “double dead” pork.

On Wednesday morning, the city veterinary office conducted a similar inspection in Balintawak and seized 300 kilos of the tainted milkfish, prompting Cabel to carry out another raid.

Rock-bottom prices

Cabel noted that the milkfish for sale at the Balintawak raid was far cheaper—at P40 per kilo while its usual retail price is a hefty P120.

“It’s so cheap and there were so many milkfish for sale there, mostly large ones. Some were even cut up and cured as daing,” she added.

The health official warned unsuspecting buyers to be more critical of the fish they buy, pointing out that fresh fish meat is usually firm and is free of foul odors.

Cabel described the seized “botcha bangus” as having very soft meat that breaks up easily and with reddish or brownish gills.

Ingesting fish affected by a fishkill would result in food poisoning. The victim could experience dizziness and diarrhea.

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Cabel said the seized milkfish was dumped in the Pasay City crocodile farm.

TAGS: bangus, double dead, Health, milkfish, Warnings

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