– aims to ensure availability of wholesome foods
In order to ensure that safe and wholesome foods reach citizens, the Food Hygiene Section and the Municipal Abattoir of the Mayor and City Council of Georgetown, has been monitoring the markets which fall under the municipal jurisdiction.
Meat products were primary among the items that were inspected during monitoring exercises. Inspectors, according to a statement issued by Public Relations Officer, Royston King, inspected food products at grocery and meat stalls of the Albouystown, Bourda, Stabroek, East Ruimveldt markets, New Vendors Mall and Merriman Mall.
King also revealed that for the month of August, 689 animals were slaughtered and inspected, among them 325 cattle, four goats and 11 pigs. Five carcasses of cows were condemned for generalised tuberculosis and 83 pounds of beef and 15 pounds of pork were condemned for bruising.
It was just earlier this year that the municipality had started a campaign to clamp down on the illegal slaughtering of animals. In fact it was revealed that about three percent of all animals slaughtered in the city were being done illegally.
This was according to Mr Jackdeep Singh, Chief Meat and Food Inspector, attached to the municipal abattoir. This unscrupulous practice, he said, could result in tainted meat being sold to consumers. And so in order to safe guard consumers from buying meat infected with diseases the municipality was forced to commence the campaign.
The campaign was geared at not only tracking illegal slaughter operations but also to ensure that such meats are destroyed. Singh during an interview had revealed that based on the municipal bylaws no meat should be sold within the city of Georgetown unless it is inspected and certified by a Meat and Food Inspector.
It also states that no slaughtering should take place in the city outside of the municipal abattoir, which is the sole authorised place for slaughtering in the city.
And since it had come to the attention of the municipality that animals are being slaughtered outside of the abattoir, officials of the abattoir were even then working in close collaboration with the City Constabulary to “track down” and “root out” all defaulters.
“We don’t actually know where these people are but we have received tips which prompted this action. We are depending on members of the public to help us put an end to this ghastly activity which could see the consumers suffering in the long run,” Singh had asserted.
“Our intent is to follow any information leading to these activities and according to the bylaws we have the authority to destroy these meats.”
In addition a quantity of food items including milk, butter and chowmein were found to be expired, these were confiscated and destroyed, according to King. The municipality he said is urging all citizens to be vigilant and alert when purchasing bottled and canned food items. They should also check for expiry dates, King added even as he noted that some vendors, who are unscrupulous, in their dealings, may put the health of the citizens at risk for financial gain.
In addition, he revealed that the Public Relations, Education and Food Hygiene departments are collaborating to hold a public forum on food safety and consumer responsibility. This he said is necessary to elevate public awareness, on the importance of food safety.
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