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Safe Meat for Holidays

In Cayman, traditional Christmas dishes often include fresh local meat and to satisfy demand, butchers are already slaughtering more animals.

To ensure the delivery of safe meat to the consumers, butchers are reminded that the Department of Agriculture (DoA), and the Department of Environmental Health (DEH), conduct inspections to maintain safety standards.

Ante-mortem inspections of all animals must be carried out before slaughter by the Department of Agriculture (DOA). The DoA staff should be contacted on 947-3090 to make arrangements.

Once ante-mortem has been done, DEH officials must then be contacted regarding post-mortem inspection of carcasses to determine whether they are safe for human consumption. The public is reminded that local meat is only deemed fit for food when carcasses bear the 'DEH inspected and passed' stamp.

Therefore all butchers should call the DEH on 949-6696, at least 48 hours ahead of the proposed slaughter time, to arrange post-mortem meat inspections.

Butchers and consumers are also reminded that selling carcasses, whether whole or in part, that have not been DEH inspected and approved is against the Public Health Law (2002 Revision).

DEH therefore ask consumers to be vigilant. "For your own safety and for the health of those who may consume your meals, not to purchase any locally-slaughtered meat that lacks the DEH stamp," said Senior Food Safety Officer Gideon Simms.

"If at any time you observe anyone selling locally slaughtered meat without the stamp, immediately report the matter to the DEH."

For more information, call DEH at 949-6696 or EHO Mr Simms at 925-4582 or the DoA on 947-3090.