The Ministry of Health is highlighting the importance of paying special attention to the quality and safety of meat and other foods as the Christmas celebrations arrive.
“The Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment is committed to monitoring and regulating all aspects of food as it relates to their wholeness,” the Ministry said in a statement on Monday.
It said that Environmental Health Officers will be deployed in every district throughout the country to conduct inspections, with particular emphasis on the harvesting of meat.
“A special appeal is made to all butchers, as well as the entire population, to ensure that wholesome meat enters the food chain and that no diseased animals are consumed by anyone.
“Butchers are advised that it is mandatory that all food animals intended for public consumption are inspected by Environmental Health Officers before being offered for sale. Consumers are reminded to ensure that only inspected meat should be purchased and consumed. Any meat that shows signs of spoilage should not be purchased or consumed. It must be noted that no amount of seasoning and cooking can reverse the negative health effects of a diseased animal or spoiled meat,” the ministry said.
“When purchasing fresh local meat from vendors on the street and also at the various establishments, persons are advised to make huge efforts to ensure that uninspected meat exposed to the sun, dust and flies and showing signs of spoilage does not find its way on the Christmas table,” the statement said.
I have never heard of anyone in my locale ever attempting to have their animals inspected prior to butchering and hanging them in the hot sun on roadside to sell, sometimes for three days.
Kenton, I hope no one unfamiliar with the local cuts of meat and butchering techniques thinks that your photo is a typical display of Vincentian meat preparation.
The only place you will find cuts like this on the mainland is at an upscale hotel or resort like Buccament Bay which get most of their raw produce from overseas.
On the roadside, where most people buy their Christmas beef, pork, mutton, and goat meat, the cuts look like they were prepared by a blind person. In fact, meat butchered by a blind person would be indistinguishable from meat prepared by a sighted one.
Which leads to my real concern: why has no government ever offered workshops and other training sessions free of charge to local people to train them in the basic elements of butchering?
Such training would allow different cuts with different prices — as is the custom in imported frozen meat found in supermarkets and a couple of other local outlets — to be available to consumers.
I guess there would be no votes to be garnered in providing such training.
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