This rant was at play when Bulawayo City Council raided and confiscated “rotten” meat from 12 local retailers which they were selling to the public.
The retailers were condemned during a recent hygiene inspection and operation code-named Inyama Ivela Ngaphi by its Health Services Department and the condemned meat was disposed of at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
According to the latest council report the operation Inyama Ivela Ngaphi was being spearheaded by the Department of Veterinary Services.
“The section continued participating in the operation that was spearheaded by the Veterinary Services Department.
“The operation was holistic in its approach as it involved the inspection of butcheries in terms of hygiene and advising on areas of improvement. Where unwholesome meat was found it was condemned and disposed of at the SPCA,” the minutes read.
According to the minutes a radio programme was also conducted on Food Safety focusing on meat hygiene where representatives from the City of Bulawayo Health Services Department, The Veterinary Services Department (Food Inspection and Field Services) and Zimbabwe Republic Police were educating the public on the dangers of consuming uninspected meat which may be diseased.
The panellists discouraged consumers to buy from vendors who do not have appropriate facilities for safe food handling as well as the expected conduct of butchery operators and health inspectors.
The minutes show that Pick and Pay (Southwold) had 60,2kgs of chicken, a residential house in Matsheumhlophe 43kgs of beef, Choppies Bellevue 24kgs of pork, Fazak Woodlands 84kgs of beef, Broadway Spar 9,02kgs of pre-packed beef, God’s Will 25 whole birds (chicken), 14kgs of chicken (mixed portions), TZ Butchery 49 whole birds (chicken), 25kgs of chicken (mixed portions) and Cover Butchery 90 wholebirds (chicken) unfit for human consumption.
Other affected retailers include TM Supermarket (J Moyo) which had 16,8kg of beef, Meat Hub butchery 41,55kg of beef, 48,35kg of sausages, 1kg fish, Choppies Bellevue 4,2kgs fish and No 4 Gwanda Road had six whole birds (chicken).
Other outlets which were also found with questionable standards of hygiene were Oceans Foods where 22x750g of Ideal salad cream, 5×2 litres Quench (Cream soda), 1×2 litres of Thapp’s juice (Lemon & Lime), 52x200g of Baker’s Tennis Biscuits (coconut), 2x200g of Baker’s Tennis Biscuits (Lemon), 150gx18 Dendairy thick cream and Blue Turkey Fourwinds Superette 5x2kg of mealie-meal, 3X10 kg of mealie-meal were confiscated.
Two food factories, Ginge’s Takeaways and Daeco Meat Wholesalers and Montana Meats Butchery were also swabbed in the Belmont area during the same month.
Grade B was given to the two food factories while Daeco Meat Wholesalers was given Grade D which indicates that the standard of hygiene was unsatisfactory.
It also emerged that 583 premises were inspected during the month of January 2023 compared to the previous month (December 2022) where 397 premises were inspected with the highest being trading premises.
“During the inspections, unsatisfactory conditions were identified and contained. Some of these included the sale of 86kg of meat deemed to be unfit for human consumption pursuant to the Food Standards Control Act and SI 50 of 1995.
“Unwholesome meat was condemned and disposed of in accordance with the Public Health Act and Bulawayo (Public health) By-laws. Fifty nine offenders were issued with intimations, 26 with deposit fines and 10 were issued with notices for failing to comply with Public Health legislation.
“Twenty four public health complaints were raised and followed up on during the month. Ongoing efforts are underway to rectify all the public health complaints raised. Seven Health reports were issued, nine new shops were recommended for licensing,” the minutes further read.
Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) regional manager for Bulawayo Comfort Muchekeza said as a watchdog they were concerned about the issue of retailers who were selling meat that is not of good quality to the public.
“Although we had not held any follow-ups recently, we are happy that the city council through its health service department and their environmental technicians are doing a sterling job, something which we had been advocating for.
“They should intensify those hygiene inspections and health education to prevent food-related illness.
“We are also making follow-ups and I believe confiscation of the meat on its own was a heavier fine to those retailers.
“This is because sometimes that meat which had been removed from the supermarkets would be put somewhere in the back and then brought back and resold to the customers,” said Muchekeza.
He urged consumers to check the quality of meat products and the hygiene of its storage before purchasing it, adding that consumers should also report outlets with questionable standards to the council so that action is taken.