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Rotten meat 'cleared at airport' in Bahrain

MANAMA, January 13, 2015

Five tonnes of spoiled meat that were bound for Bahrain's markets almost made it into the country, it has emerged.

The Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication, has reported that approximately 91 carcasses imported by Bahrain Livestock Company (BLC) had been seized by health and veterinary authorities after being found unfit for human consumption.

But according to BLC officials the consignment of lamb and mutton had cleared an initial check by government inspectors and was only discovered to have gone off when the company's own food quality monitors scrutinised it.

“The consignment arrived at the airport and it was cleared as if nothing was wrong,” said BLC chairman Ebrahim Zainal.

“It was our own food quality control team who took a second look at the meat and flagged it - then separated it to be retested by the Works, Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry's own veterinarians.

“They found that it was unfit for consumption and it was destroyed.”

Zainal said that with the thousands of tonnes of perishable food coming in to Bahrain every week it was impossible for '100 per cent' to arrive in a fit state.

“Perishable items such as meat come into Bahrain every day and there is no way for it all to be 100pc safe on arrival, which is why we have such high food quality standard and checks,” he said.

“All the meat we get is first checked by authorities at the airport and their vets, and then it is brought to the BLC chillers where it is checked again by our quality control team to make sure that nothing is missed.

“It is this combination of government checks and our own checks that ensures that the supply in the market is not only safe, but is also of a high quality,” he explained.

Quality

The official added that the BLC does not lose out financially if consignments of meat are destroyed as they are insured, which allows them to focus on quality.

At a media briefing following yesterday's weekly Cabinet meeting, Information Affairs Minister and official government spokesman Isa Al Hammadi said that the concerned government authorities had been given a week's time to 'present a report and take action accordingly to limit such incidents in the future'.

No-one from the Works, Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry was available for comment when contacted by the GDN. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Meat | Lamb |

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