St Catherine Health Dept beefs up vigilance for uninspected meat
Ruddy Mathison, Gleaner Writer
SPANISH TOWN, St Catherine:
THE ST CATHERINE Health Department will ensure that all meat reaching the consuming public this holiday season be suitable for human consumption.
The department said it was aware that at this time of the year, there is illegal slaughtering done by unscrupulous persons trying to cash in on the demand for fresh meat.
"If and when we identify these persons, we will ensure that the proper legal channel is utilised to deal with them. Not only this, but the department has the option to remove such product from the food chain," chief public health inspector for St Catherine, Richard Baker, told The Gleaner.
"Our team of inspectors will be monitoring all the areas where uninspected meat is likely to turn up. We will do close monitoring of all the markets in the parish and other places where slaughtering takes place to ensure that they have the appropriate licenses to conduct the slaughtering of meat," Barker informed.
He indicated that all butchers must be licensed, adding that the department has the capacity to undertake the task of ensuring that butchers are in compliance. He stressed that all meat reaching the consuming public must be slaughtered at a slaughterhouse, where it will be inspected and stamped.
The chief public health official disclosed that the department will soon introduce new meat stamps that carry additional information. According to him, one striking feature of this new instrument will be the inclusion of the public health inspector's own unique registration number. This, he said, will bring further accountability to the system.