You love meat and like it fresh, but how safe is that place where you shop? Some people shop at supermarkets, but the majority buy their meat from butcheries.
The average butchery is usually located in the market, the outskirts, at a trading centre or roadside. Most of these places have three things in common; congestion, a foul smell from decomposing fresh foods and plenty of dust.
Unfortunately most of the meat in these butcheries is placed on the counter and not covered, or is hang on hooks. As a result, dust, house flies and airborne bacteria find a niche in the meat, posing health risks to the consumer.
John Lule, the Kampala City Council principal health inspector, says most butcheries do not meet the required health standards. â€œThey are open to houseflies. The tables on which the meat is chopped are usually dirty and stained with blood.â€
Ruth Mubeezi, a public health consultant, says if meat is exposed to dust and kept longer than 24 hours in open space, it is not safe for consumption.
How you can improve hygiene at your butchery
A butchery should have two rooms, measuring at least 10 by 10 feet as a standard requirement, with one room for storage and the other for selling and display of meat.
The saleâ€™s room should be tiled and have a glass screen to keep off dust and house flies A butchery should not be located near a rubbish pit
The butchery should have proper drainage and running water
The butcher should wear clean gloves and a white coat and must cover the head.
The butchery should be disinfected regularly
Tips for buyers
Buyers must ensure that the meat is stamped and the butchery licensed
In case of doubt about the requirements of a butchery, contact the health inspection department for help.
Cook meat thoroughly and avoid eating it half-cooked as some of the organisms might still be alive, posing a danger to your health.
Mubeezi advises that one avoids buying fatty meat because micro-organisms easily hide under fat when meat gets contaminated.
How clean is your butchery?