Meat storage probe urged in Bahrain
Manama, June 4, 2012
Authorities have been urged by a municipal council to launch a probe into improper storage and transport of meat carcasses in Bahrain.
The Muharraq Municipal Council claims carcasses supplied to the Muharraq Central Market could be rotten, saying they were not properly stored and had emitted strange odours.
It has photographic evidence that the Bahrain Livestock Company has violated health regulations after butchers reported the incident to the council.
However, councillors fear the meat could already be distributed to the public by the time Health Ministry inspectors investigate the alleged violations, saying it was not the first time companies had transported rotten meat.
"Two incidents happened in May within a week of each other and again in the absence of ministry inspectors," said council vice-chairman Ali Al Muqla. "There are no excuses for negligence and it seems that the ministry just awaits an incident in which people get really sick, or God forbid, tragically die.
"These are people's lives we are talking about here and not toys."
Al Muqla criticised the ministry for its lack of action against violators who put the lives of people at risk, saying it does not provide an adequate number of inspectors to each market.
"I can count the number of inspectors divided on all markets across Bahrain on my hands, so why can't a ministry, which receives millions of dinars for its budget and has thousands of staff members, carry out proper inspection?" he asked. "In any country, inspectors are present to examine carcasses and ensure that they are healthy, but here the responsible company just drops the meat and leaves without proper monitoring," he added.
"The Health Ministry, unfortunately it is called health before ministry, should start an investigation if it cares about people's health and welfare because the carcasses distributed are beyond what we can describe as healthy."
Al Muqla also slammed some butchers for laying carcasses on the ground, disregarding hygiene or cleanliness.
"When some butchers are not being watched (by inspectors), they tend to violate regulations and they will continue to violate them until the ministry puts one inspector at every market to stop them."
Ministry officials and Bahrain Livestock Company could not be reached yesterday. – TradeArabia News Service