The Saint Lucian Environmental Health Officer Sementha Tisson, released certain instructions regarding food safety and management for running a slaughterhouse in which she emphasized that if a butcher wants to sell meat and meat products, they must register with the Ministry of Health. The deadline for registration is December 22, and it is now open
The Saint Lucian Environmental Health Officer Sementha Tisson, released certain instructions regarding food safety and management for running a slaughterhouse in which she emphasized that if a butcher wants to sell meat and meat products, they must register with the Ministry of Health. (Image Courtesy-Google)

The Saint Lucian Environmental Health Officer Sementha Tisson, released certain instructions regarding food safety and management for running a slaughterhouse in which she emphasized that if a butcher wants to sell meat and meat products, they must register with the Ministry of Health. The deadline for registration is December 22, and it is now open.

Weekly animal slaughter takes place in Saint Lucia to provide for the country’s weekly needs. Numerous organisations guide throughout the process to guarantee the product’s high quality and public safety.

During Christmas festivals, there is a noticeable increase in buying meat products. Keeping it in mind, the Ministry of Health strengthens security inspections with the Ministry of Agriculture’s help to guarantee the best quality and safety measures during the festivals.

Health officer Tisson noted that, while running a slaughterhouse, the management must have flowing water, a concrete floor, a system for managing waste and wastewater, and a separate place for washing hands with soap. Employees should cover their hair properly, and butcher’s assistants should be properly attired and healthy.

When handling meat and meat products, smoking and eating should not be permitted, and jewellery should not be worn during slaughter.

She warned the nation’s butchers that if they don’t abide by the safety regulations, they risk losing their right to make meat products or face having the slaughterhouse shut down.

Tisson emphasised that the Ministry of Agriculture will tag live animals, which must be approved 24 hours before slaughter and repeated if the slaying is postponed for more than a day.

The Ministry of Agriculture’s Livestock officer Columbus Philippe also voiced his opinions regarding meat production during the Christmas celebrations. According to him, the main goals of this inspection are to find reportable animal diseases and ensure that animals headed for the slaughterhouse have received clinical approval.

He stated that in order to prevent the contamination of carcasses by foreign objects, disease diagnosis would be made, and the animal would then be given the go-ahead to deliver in the slaughter after being adequately rested and handled humanely.

According to Philippe, the process must involve a thorough examination of the animal, both at rest and in motion. Key checkpoints during the evaluation include behaviour, nutritional status, cleanliness, infections and abnormalities, and symptoms of anomalies.