TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The City Veterinary Office (CVO) expressed that meat vendors in the two public markets follow the meat inspection code to assure safety and quality of meat and meat products.
In an interview with Dr. Carmen Wanas of the CVO during the October 20 episode of City Updates, a program of the LGU aired over Radyo ng Bayan, she said that meat inspection is composed of three activities: the ante-mortem, post-mortem and post abattoir inspection.
A systematic ante-mortem inspection, she said is done by authorized inspector on food animals before they are slaughtered. The inspection is done in a holding pen of the slaughter house and if any animal is found to be infected by diseases or defect that would render the meat unfit for human consumption is marked condemned, isolated immediately and disposed properly.
Wanas said that after the animals are slaughtered a post-mortem inspection is carried out to the carcasses and parts of all food animals at any meat establishment to ensure that the meat is safe for consumption.
The post abattoir inspection, she said, is the inspection of meat display for sale at public markets and meat stalls.
“Before there were plenty of meat vendors who did not adhere to meat inspection policy due to personal attitude, distance from home to slaughter house, peace and order situation of the community, fees collected and safety but most comply now,” she informed.
As to regulatory fees and charges, the CVO collects P25.00 per hog while P260.00 for large cattle as slaughter fee.
Wanas also disclosed than a city ordinance that will create the city meat inspection service that becomes the sole authority on all matters pertaining to meat and meat product inspection and meat hygiene is underway.
While still crafting the said ordinance, three meat inspectors of the CVO were deployed at Bulanao and Agbannawag Public Market and at the slaughter house to conduct daily ocular inspection to check the color and smell of meat to guarantee if it is fit for human consumption.
“By increasing the level of awareness of meat vendors, butchers and consumers through information education campaign on the country’s Meat Inspection Code, we can encourage all vendors to comply with the provisions of the code,” Wanas emphasized.
In partnership with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Office of the City Agricultural Services (OCAS), Wanas stressed the importance of the “Bantay Karne” Task Force which conducts the operation to confiscate, apprehend, to blotter and file cases and charges against violators. This, she said, will promote animal health by preventing the entry of disease-carrying animals in meat establishments.
Wanas also told that the CVO is also working on documents in upgrading the slaughter house from Single A to Double A. This means that the city government will hire butchers, upgrade its equipment like having meat hangers and dehairing machine, and can export meat products from other areas.
She also said that all vendors must secure the annual health certificate to ensure safety and quality from farm to table.
The meat inspection activity was part of the week-long celebration of the National Meat Consciousness Safety which ran from October 16-20 with the theme “Mula katayan hanggang tahanan, malinis na karne ang laan.”
By Darwin S. Serion