Sanitation problems seen at Manila’s Vitas Slaughterhouse
MANILA, Philippines — Vitas Slaughterhouse, the only slaughterhouse that can be found in the country’s capital, has been found to have violations in terms of sanitation.
Dr. Joey Diaz, Supervising Veterinarian of the Veterinary Inspectors Board of Manila, admitted this on Friday after Manila Mayor Isko Moreno inspected the slaughterhouse for the second time.
According to Diaz, about 100 to 120 cows and less than 100 pigs go in and out of the slaughterhouse each day at Vitas.
Diaz said that these animals immediately get slaughtered once delivered to the area due to the sorry-state of the slaughterhouse.
“Dahil nga doon sa condition ng aming katayan ngayon na nasira, mayroon kaming mga minor violations sa pagkakakatay kagaya nung floor dressing na dapat sana hindi sa floor dapat alisan ng balat kasi ang dapat nakasabit yan,” Diaz said in an interview.
Contrary to standards, cows and pigs being brought to Vitas are butchered in close proximity with the other living animals, which may lead to developing contaminant hormones among them.
Diaz said that in a normal slaughterhouse, animals were killed separately from those that are still alive.
Aside from the sorry state of the butcher area, he said that the slaughterhouse also needs to address the lack of water and garbage disposal area.
During Moreno’s first inspection on Wednesday, he said that the slaughter area will not pass the sanitation standard set by the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources due to its lack of facilities.
“Based on its face, ako lang ah, of course. E limang-singko langaw dito eh. Oh sino gusto tumpukan ang laban? Talagang hindi mo.. ano naman.. kahabag-habag naman kami,” Moreno said when asked on the matter.
“You cannot take this sitting down because what we are after is the people of Manila who will buy meat in talipapa, palengke,” he added.
As for garbage concerns, Moreno said that the smell of the area was “nauseating.”
According to Moreno, without proper sanitation in the area where cows and pigs are butchered, meat products may be contaminated even before they reach the market.
The current situation, according to Diaz, may lead to possible contamination of meat products from Vitas Slaughterhouse.
“Ang hazard kasi nito baka magkaroon ng possible contaminants kagaya halimbawa yung mga usok, yung mga.. baka malagyan ng dumi o putik yung mga karne dahil […] ang materyales ng aming slaughterhouse ay hindi ideal para sa katayan.
Nevertheless, he assured the public that it is doing its best for the meat not to touch the ground.
“Ina-avoid lang namin talaga yung floor dressing pero yan ina-angat yung mga carcass niyan so wala namang karne na ko-contact sa flooring,” he said.
“So mai-eliminate yung possible contaminants lalo na yung infections kasi yun ang medyo mabigat yung magkaroon ng infectious bacteria na will come contact sa carcass,” he added.
Despite the issues raised, Diaz said that they are now finding ways in improving the state of the slaughterhouse while waiting for the promise of the city government in building a new Vitas Slaughterhouse.
“Nakita na nga ito ng ating mayor at sabi niya tutugunan niya yan sa lalong madaling panahon,” he said.
“Ginagawan namin ng paraan para maimprove itong lugar na ito habang inaantay namin yung malaking plano ni Mayor Isko sa pagsasaayos nito at sa pagbangon ng katayan ng Maynila,” he added. /jpv
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