The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) called upon all butchery owners in the country to acquire the Uganda Standard US 736: 2019 Hygienic requirements for butcheries and ensure that their premises meet the hygiene standards.
The remarks were made during the hygiene standards sensitisation meeting with all Butchery owners in Kampala, held at the UNBS head offices in Bweyogerere, in line with the UNBS mandate of promoting Standards’ use in protection of public health and safety and the environment against dangerous and sub-standard products.
During the meeting, Rehema Meeme, a Standards Officer at UNBS noted that it is important to ensure quality and safety of meat and its products to safeguard the health and safety of Ugandan consumers.
“During UNBS recent field inspections, we found some butcheries are built near sewerage channels, some lack appropriate sanitary facilities, in some butcheries, beef carcasses are not inspected and have no approval stamp, meat stays on the shelves for longer periods, use of pesticide concoctions on meat to chase away flies among other issues and these must stop," said Meeme.
She further urged butchery owners to acquire the Uganda Standard US 736: 2019 Hygienic requirements for butcheries, available on the UNBS website.
Awath Aburu, a standards officer at UNBS, shared some of the requirements of the standard with the butchery owners and urged them to strictly follow the general standards requirements and guidelines as follows;
- All butcheries should possess occupation permits,
- All butcheries should operate in suitability permitted premises,
- All butcheries should possess a medical examination certificate,
- All butcheries should possess a valid trading license,
- All butcheries should have a first aid kit,
- All butcheries should sell only hygienic meat and meat products,
- All butcheries should use appropriate insect traps/screens.
For the construction of butcheries, the standard requires that;
- During construction, butchery owners should use smooth and easy to clean food grade surfaces of at least 1m high,
- Butchery owners should separate area within the butchery for offals,
- Butchery owners should use shutter-proof or hardened translucent plastic of 1m high,
- Butchery owners should use waterproof and washable materials for walls and floor,
- The premises should be well lit, ventilated, and have Vermin and fly-proof screens.
For Equipment, the standard requires that;
- Butcheries use stainless steel tools and equipment,
- Butcheries should Keep the equipment clean and in proper places and the equipment should be easy to clean.
For personal hygiene, the standard requires that Personnel should;
- Be clean and bath regularly before handling meat,
- wear complete and clean personnel protective gear,
- Only medically fit workers should handle meat,
- Separate personnel handling money and meat,
- Frequently wash their hands during meat handling,
- Put all jewelleries and personal items in changing rooms.
For operation, the standard requires that;
- Meat for sale is displayed on hooks inside the butcheries
- Meat from different animal species should be displayed separately
- Nonbutchery staff shall not be allowed in the butchery handling area
- Jewellery, food and personal items are allowed in meat-handling areas
- No wearing body perfume.
For transportation of meat, the standard requires that;
- Meat is transported in clean, fly-proof, cold and closed vessels,
- All vessels must be easy to clean and non-absorbent surfaces,
- Only use inspected and permitted vessels by a competent authority.
The butchery owners were also cautioned against using ropes to hang meat for display, transporting meat in unauthorized vessels, transporting nonmeat items in meat vessels, use of unapproved/ unknown disinfectants, having live animals in the butchery, using unapproved insecticides, operating where there is no drainage and soak pit, locating the butchery near refuse dump, stable, poultry house and road and use of rusty equipment.
UNBS further simplified the Uganda Standard US 736: 2019 Hygienic requirements for Butcheries into easy-to-use guidelines and translated them to two native languages; Luganda and Swahili, for easier comprehension and implementation. The butchery owners were grateful to UNBS for the eye-opening sensitisation and asked that the trainings are extended to all players in the meat and meat products value chain across the country.