Be conscious of where you buy meat, Dr Watson urgesThursday, September 16, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica— The Veterinary Services Division (VSD) in a statement released Thursday, reminded Jamaicans to purchase meat from licensed butchers only.
The call comes in the interest of public safety and in a bid to encourage responsibility among consumers to make wise and healthy food decisions.
Chief Veterinarian at the VSD, Dr Osbil Watson, said meat, like pork, is safe to eat once cooked thoroughly, but where it comes from is also very important.
“Once you ensure that you purchase it from the right place, such as licensed butchers who have the meat properly inspected by the public health department, it's good. Don't just purchase the meat from anybody, such as someone that the public health inspector would not have access to. You must ensure that you take into your hand the business of food safety also and you must know where your food is coming from,” Dr Watson argued.
The chief veterinarian also said people should make checks on establishments selling meat to ensure that the business is registered.
“Don't just blindly walk into somewhere and buy a pound of pork. Make sure that the meat is duly passed fit for consumption by the inspectorate,” Dr Watson stressed.
He also noted that with the activities of smugglers, people should be vigilant of where and from whom they source their meat.
“Smugglers can literally destroy our wealth, and so it should not be condoned. We have to safeguard our farmers' investment... we need to safeguard whatever investment they put in there to feed us,” Dr Watson stated.
Meanwhile, Jamaicans are also being urged to be mindful of the items they are bringing into the country, in an effort to prevent the spread of diseases.
“We must do everything possible to ensure that we don't do anything untoward to let disease come into a farmer's property. So, if you travel abroad to countries that have African Swine Fever, for example, plant diseases or other animal diseases of concern to Jamaica, when you are returning, don't take anything from those countries that can bring that disease to Jamaica. When you get back to Jamaica, stay away from farms, quarantine or self-isolate… until you're sure that when you go on to a farm, you're not spreading anything,” Dr Watson said.