Meat regulator spells out new standard, rules for butcheries

03Dec 2021
Polycarp Machira
The Guardian
Meat regulator spells out new standard, rules for butcheries

​​​​​​​MEAT traders in the country must avoid the use of insect repellents in butcheries as the chemicals pose intense health risks and are widely in use, the Tanzania Meat Board has warned.

TMB Registrar Dr Daniel Mushi said at a press conference here yesterday that the board has launched a nationwide investigation on the matter and any butcher found using repellents will face a 300, 000/- fine or a six months jail sentence.

Those found using them repetitively after the first warning will face a 1m/- fine, six months’ jail sentence or both, he stated, noting that research to establish health related complications of repellents is needed but their use can contaminate meat.

Flies are attracted to unpleasant odour caused by spoilage of meat in butcheries so to curb the presence of flies in butcheries is to improve hygiene, not resorting to using housefly sprays, he stated. The use of insecticides is dangerous to the health of consumers as they can cause various ailments including cancer, he further stated.

In this connection, the board prohibits the use of fly sprays in meat shops and it urges the public not to buy meat from butchery if they notice it has insect sprays, elaborating that what is required is thorough cleaning of the butcheries, especially before bringing in meat and after selling the meat.

Butcheries should not have holes on the walls or floors, he specified, demanding that tiles should be put on walls and floors to facilitate cleanliness, “and there should be no drainage ditches around butcheries.”

Timber logs are not allowed in butcheries as they create breeding sites for microbes that cause meat spoilage and bad odour, he directed, recommending that a band saw and chopping board should be used instead

Butcheries should similarly have a hot water source for cleaning meat cutting equipment and eliminating meat spoiling microbes. Air conditioners need to be installed in butcheries to lower temperature and slow down meat spoilage, he asserted.

Again, a meat shop needs a refrigerator or deep freezer to store unsold meat and prevent spoilage, meanwhile as meat shop operators work to identify the needs of their customers and order just sufficient supplies for the customers' daily needs to reduce meat spoilage, he explained.

Butcheries should have a glass window or net so that the customer can see the meat from outside and in preventing flies from landing on the meat, he stated, highlighting the need for meat sellers to obtain meat from slaughterhouses with acceptable levels of hygiene. Contamination of meat in slaughterhouses will accelerate the spoilage of meat, which leads to bad odour and attract flies, he stated.

During transportation meat should be moved from slaughterhouses to butcheries in special meat vans to prevent contamination and premature spoilage, the registrar intoned, specifying that intestines be separated from the carcass to avoid contamination of carcasses by intestinal microbes.

The Meat Industry Act No. 10 of 2006 demands that butcheries be inspected and registered by the board, with butchery employees having to receive meat handling training from the Vocational Education and Training Authority (VETA) or the board, he added.