A survey carried out by the College of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Resources and BioSecurity (CoVAB) at Makerere University has revealed that 20% of the meat sold in Kampala is not fit for consumption.
Speaking at the release of the report on Wednesday, Joseph Kungu, a lecturer at the university who was also the lead investigator said it was found out that 20% of the meat sold doesn’t not bear stamps, a situation he said means the meat has not been checked and certified as being fit for human consumption.
“Before cattle enters the slaughterhouse, it ought to be inspected to be sure of its health before slaughter. There should also be postmortem meat inspection by inspectors to find out if after slaughter, the meat is fit for consumption and then it is stamped,”Kungu said.
He however noted that in a number of cases, these procedures are not followed, a situation he said puts the life of consumers at risk.
He said that meat contamination happens right from the farm, transportation, slaughtering, storage and preparation by the final consumers.
“The meat can get either chemical or bacterial contamination while the animals are being transported, during slaughtering, transportation of meat and the containers it is kept in. In this case, if the meat is not inspected, risks are high that if consumers don’t prepare it well, their health will be affected,” Kungu said while quoting the survey.
Quoting the Veterinary Public Health Act that regulates sale of animal food products, Kungu said meat should have stamp of meat inspector and that this certification is based on the assurance that meat is inspected to make it safe for human consumption.
The survey carried out between December 2019 and June 2020 also indicated that in some cases, some meat is washed in water channels and in this case, Nakivubo channel which is known to carry sewerage water was mentioned.
The report mentioned abattoirs and butchers blending old meat with fresh one, slaughtering of animals after immunization and not following the withdraw period and poor hygiene of the abattoirs as some of the issues that make meat not fit for consumption.
“In most cases, government through KCCA is on the ground to try their best but tend to be frustrated by other actors in the food value chain including farmers, transporters and those dealing in packaging who circumvent the right procedures.”
Commenting on the survey, Ruth Awio, a standards officer in the foods and agriculture division of the Uganda National Bureau of Standards(UNBS) noted that there is circumventing of the right procedures by a number of stakeholders in the supply chain.
“Most of the meat is from the private dealers who are directly slaughtering the animals and setting the meat to the city. Those who go through the right procedure by sending the animals to be slaughtered in regulated abattoirs follow the procedures,”
She however noted that UNBS is carrying our sensitization drives among members of the public on observing standards.