Koronadal’s TF Bantay Karne intensifies monitoring as Christmas nears

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 7 Nov) – The city government has intensified its monitoring on the possible presence of expired and contaminated meat products in various local markets as the Christmas season nears.

Dr. Charlemagne Calo, city veterinarian, said the city’s Task Force Bantay Karne has resumed its regular inspections on public market stalls, grocery stores and other local retail outlets selling fresh and processed meat products to make sure that they properly comply with the government’s safety regulations.

“We’re presently conducting unannounced inspections on local meat outlets and information campaigns for our consumers,” he said in a radio interview.

Calo, who heads the task force, said they are specifically monitoring the expired processed frozen meat products like ham, hotdogs and tocino that are still being sold by some retailers.

He said they are also looking after meat products that have erased or no required labels and expiration marks.

“We immediately confiscate and destroy all expired meat products as well as those without labels and expiration marks,” the official said.

Calo advised local consumers to properly inspect the meat products that they purchase and report possible violations to the task force.

“Meat products that are already expired and possibly contaminated are usually greenish in color, gelatinous in texture and have sour smell,” he said.

For owners of meat retail stores and outlets, the official reminded them to regularly check their products for possible expired items and properly place labels and expiration data on them.

He said such practice will help protect local consumers as well as their businesses.

Aside from meat outlets, Calo said the task force has been also conducting inspections on lechon houses within the city to make sure that they comply with standard meat processing regulations.

He said they advised owners of local lechon houses to only utilize the city’s slaughterhouse and ensure that their products have passed the evaluation of the local government’s meat inspectors.

“This (use of slaughterhouse) is very important because not all pigs that appear good externally are safe or good for consumption. Some pigs might have some diseases that could only be seen internally and eventually harm our consumers,” Calo added. (Allen V. Estabillo / MindaNews)