June 24, 2024

A surprise inspection of talipapa or satellite markets at barangays San Vicente, Kias, Loakan, and Camp 7 yielded close to a hundred kilos of stale meat and fish being sold to consumers.

The Safe Meat Task Force composed of city government offices led by the City Veterinary and Agriculture Office (CVAO), City Health Services Office, Permits and Licensing and Public Order and Safety Division, and City Treasury Office Market Division with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, and National Meat Inspection Service also confiscated a sack of plastic bags from stalls in all the markets in line with the intensified implementation of the Plastic and Styrofoam-free Baguio Ordinance in the city.

Confiscated during the operations were 72.85 kilos of assorted meat products and 24.28 kilos of assorted fish products that were unfit for human consumption due to mishandling and with signs of spoilage.

All the goods and products were promptly brought to the CVAO condemnation pit for proper disposal in accordance with safety protocols.

A total of 46 weighing scales were also inspected in all the markets with two defective ones confiscated from sellers at the Loakan satellite market.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong lauded the efforts of the task force to safeguard the consumers against the health risks posed by unsafe food products and unfair trade practices.

He again called for consistency in the implementation of the regulation on the distribution, sale, and use of plastic carry or shopping bags and Styrofoam containers in the city.

He said this is because the continued use of these single-use plastic and Styrofoam as packaging and food vessels continues to be a health and environment hazard.

Aside from spot inspections by the task force, daily inspections are conducted by the CVAO Meat Inspection Section of newly slaughtered and post-slaughtered animal meat in different establishments to prevent the public consumption of unhygienically-handled, spoiled, and adulterated meat.

Erring meat retailers are penalized P5,000 for each violation.

There are also other penalties for violators of zoning requirements, shop planning and design, electrical and lighting requirements, sanitation requirements, and solid waste management consisting of fines ranging from P1,000 to P5,000 fine and closure of business.

The program is in compliance with Republic Act 9296 or Meat Inspection Code of the Philippines, RA 7394 or the Consumer Act of the Philippines, RA 10611 or Food Safety Act, and the Department of Agriculture Administrative Order 5, that regulate the hygienic handling of newly butchered meat in the public market. – Aileen P. Refuerzo