To support the huge role of workers handling meat to be sold and prepared for consumption, the Provincial Government has intensified trainings and programs on proper meat handling and abattoir improvement.
The move is in line with Gov. Hilario P. Davide III’s six-key development agenda, particularly on ensuring the well-being of every Cebuano.
Improper meat handling causes food poisoning and other diseases due to the presence of bacteria, viruses and parasites.
Since 2014, the Provincial Government, through the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO), has been conducting annual Basic Meat Inspection Training Course (BMITC) wherein 54 meat inspectors have been trained.
On November 6, another batch of 30 participants will undergo a 21-day intensive training. Upon completion, participants will be certified as meat inspectors by the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS).
“Before BMITC started, there were around two to three meat inspectors registered in Cebu,” said PVO chief Dr. Mary Rose Vincoy.
Aside from trainings, PVO will also be distributing abattoir equipment to local government units, with an estimated cost of P1.5 million.
The equipment include tattoo hog slapper, live-weight weighing scale, and evisceration platform, which are all helpful in minimizing animal cruelty practices in abattoirs.
Further, Vincoy disclosed that a Provincial Meat Inspection Service (PMIS) will soon be established in Cebu, which will have similar functions as to that of the NMIS.
“PMIS will monitor all meat inspectors in Cebu so we will no longer have to rely on personnel from NMIS,” Vincoy said.
During Capitol’s celebration of the Meat Safety Consciousness Week last October 20, Provincial Health Office Chief Dr. Rene Catan stressed that “prevention is key to a healthy citizenry,” and this includes consumers staying vigilant when it comes to purchasing meat.
Dr. Catan added that Meat Safety Consciousness Week is best observed in Cebu, which is one of the highest meat consumer in the country.
For Dr. Vincoy, she said Cebuano consumers are cautious when they purchase meat, but she also emphasized that meat inspectors must be updated of the latest meat handling measures and technologies.
“Meat inspectors must also update themselves on the current laws and regulations,” Vincoy added.