Know where your meat is coming from!Friday, September 17, 2021
THE Veterinary Services Division (VSD) is reminding Jamaicans to purchase meat from licensed butchers only, a call it said comes in the interest of public safety and to encourage responsibility among consumers to make wise and healthy food decisions.
Chief veterinarian within the VSD, Dr Osbil Watson, who was speaking in a recent interview with JIS News, said meat like pork is safe to eat once cooked thoroughly, but place of origin was 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. Why go and buy it? 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 said.
The chief veterinarian also said individuals 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 mentioned. He also noted that with the activities of smugglers, persons should be vigilant of where and from whom they source their meats.
“Smugglers can literally destroy our wealth, and so it should not be condoned. We have to safeguard our farmers' investment. I don't want to say safeguard our farmers' wealth because a lot of times the farmers go out there and they ensure that we have something to eat. They feed us. Therefore, we need to safeguard whatever investment they put in there to feed us,” Dr Watson explained.
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.