News Item

Improved meat hygiene essential for Ni-Vanuatu public health

News 2 Oct 2018

The Department of Biosecurity (DoB) has stepped up its efforts to enhance the hygiene status of butcheries in rural areas.

The department has brought two butchers from Tanna to Port Vila for the first training on meat hygiene and safety, after conducting inspections in each province.Butchers from Malekula attended a similar training on Santo.

They have been trained on how to produce safe meat for consumers.

Increasing local butcher’s knowledge on farm-to-table meat safety is essential to protect public health, said the Director of the DoB, Timothy Tumukon.

Safe food, nutrition and meat hygiene is regulated in the Food Control Act.

Butchers Sam Namat from Loukuria in west Tanna and Jimmy Mauikira from Middle Bush said they supply meat to public and restaurants on Tanna.

The training helped them to make sure their meat does not cause any harm to the well-being and safety of everyone including guests.

Meat from animals such as cattle carry contamination which can poses a threat to public health when not handled properly, said Director Tumukon.

“The same thing happens at homes. Sometimes we get sick because of poor hygiene and blame ‘black magic’ when it’s not.

“We have found out in our inspections that rural butcheries are lacking techniques and hygiene in slaughtering meat and are not providing good quality meat like butcheries in urban areas”, he said.

The reason for bringing the butchers to Port Vila and Luganville is to expose them to butcher skills, said the Senior Meat Inspector Philip Tari.

The training also pointed out the importance of having good conditions at slaughtering facilities.Part of these training is to prepare butchers ahead of the department’s plan of introducing mini slaughtering facilities in each provinces, said the Senior Meat Inspector Tari.

Namat and Mauikira completed the training and went back home with personal safety equipment such as gloves, knives and clothing presented by Director Tumukon.

Director Tumukon urged the two butchers to put their new knowledge and skills into practice as the department’s inspection team will be checking their progress.

Source: Daily Vu