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Officials dismiss ‘old rumour’, say no HIV in Thai canned food

Jan 07. 2017
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THE Disease Control Department (DCD) has dismissed rumours that canned food made in Thailand is tainted with HIV.

“It’s not true,” DCD director general Jessada Chokdamrongsuk said in response to a rumour, started on social media, that canned food made in the Kingdom was contaminated with the virus. 

Jessada said his department had already looked into the matter and found the rumour was groundless. “There is no credible evidence to substantiate the claim about HIV contamination. In addition, we have found that this rumour was circulated on social media during 2013 and 2014 too. And lately, it has resurfaced again,” he said. 

The ministries of Commerce and Agriculture and Cooperatives, plus the Thai Food and Drug Administration have all said the manufacturing process of canned products here has been thoroughly inspected and is certified in accordance with international standards. Those standards include the Good Manufacturing Practice and Hazard Analysis and the Critical Control Point.

The canning process requires heat treatment that eliminates all harmful microbes and any virus that may exist.

In addition, the HIV virus needs a human host to survive and does not live long outside the human body. 

Jessada said HIV was easily destroyed by heat, detergent, any disinfectant, and even stomach acid. Individuals could not become infected with HIV through routine contact such as shaking hands, hugging, kissing, eating food or drinking water. 

Individuals can reduce the risk of HIV infection by limiting the number of sexual partners they have, using a condom correctly every time they have sex, using only sterile drug injection equipment and water and never sharing needles, and being tested for HIV if exposed to risky factors.


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