The Government has warned of the possibility of African Swine Fever (ASF) spreading to Ireland.
Agriculture Minister Michael Creed has issued advice to the public about the deadly pig disease and the risk it poses to the pig sector in Ireland.
The Department of Agriculture said African Swine Fever is spreading across the world with "serious consequences" for pig farmers, meat processors and exporters in the affected countries.
Minister Creed advised: "While we have some advantages in that we are an island, there is no room for complacency here".
The disease is not a threat to human health and meat is completely safe to eat.
However an outbreak of the disease would have an enormous impact on the pig industry.
Ireland has almost 1.7 million pigs, and pig meat exports were worth €666m in 2018.
The virus can survive for months in pork and pork products - including cured meats such as ham and salami.
Meat products risk
In terms of preventing the introduction of this disease, Minister Creed said: "The virus that causes ASF is quite virulent and can spread by accidental acts of individuals, in particular inappropriate disposal of waste food."
He urged Irish people and visitors to Ireland not to take the risk of bringing meat products into Ireland from affected countries.
"Don't bring back your sandwich; don't bring back your salami", the minister urged.
He also reminded all those who keep pigs "not to feed waste food that contains meat or meat products to pigs.
"A simple ham sandwich, salami or meat product could bring this disease to our doorstep and it would be devastating".
Within the last two years, the disease has spread to nine previously unaffected countries in Europe and Asia - including China.
More than one million pigs have been culled in China alone to date in an effort to halt the spread of the disease.