Regulator to enforce hygiene standards in meat business
Health:Sellers to account for contaminated meat
Rwanda Bureau of Standards (RBS), the national standards regulator, will step up the enforcement of standards in meat business, following numerous public concerns over poor hygiene.
They will either cooperate or we use force to ensure proper hygiene because it impacts negatively on our economy as people may fall sick from contaminated meat
Mark Cyubahiro Bagabe, the Director General of RBS, said yesterday that every business engaged in meat processing must observe minimum quality standards.
“We will put in place a system where anyone who is primarily engaged in meat trade will be liable when a consumer is affected by the meat in question,” he warned.
Contaminated meat, one of the major sources of food poisoning among humans, is caused by an increase in bacteria due to high temperatures that facilitate their growth.
“They will either cooperate or we use force to ensure proper hygiene because it impacts negatively on our economy as people may fall sick from contaminated meat,” Cyubahiro said during a food standards sensitisation meeting.
He noted that most abattoirs and meat transporters had constantly failed to meet proper hygiene which leads to contamination of meat, which ends up affecting consumer’s life.
Cyubahiro observed that the system will have a traceability approach in the meat chain in order to identify the exact source of the problem.
“An animal can be tagged from the farm and that number be transferred to the abattoir…then to the butchery and supermarkets; this helps us to know where the problem originated,” he said.
The RBS chief asked all the abattoirs to ensure automation in the entire meat processing to reduce human contact, thus improving food safety.
The move will help address the challenges of poor hygiene in slaughter houses, the regulator says.
Patrick R Manzi, a veterinary officer, observed that a sensitisation campaign among abattoirs on the need to meet minimum standards had been conducted.
Dirty carriers and slaughter tools as well as blood stains in abattoirs have reduced, he said.
Prof. Masayuki Mikami Emeritus, a lecturer at Obihiro University in Japan, reckoned the country can enhance meat safety by opting for vacuum packaging and chlorine washing which are good at reducing bacterial increase in the product.
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