The Environmental Health Unit of the Southern Regional Health Authority (SRHA) is urging consumers to be vigilant when purchasing meat during the holiday period and beyond.
Regional Environmental Health Officer at the SRHA, Carleen Mitchell-Hennie says persons should ensure that meats are purchased from licensed butchers operating from approved or licensed places of slaughter.
She explained that the butchers should have the Government of Jamaica stamp of approval, adding that only meat that has been inspected and passed is fit for human consumption.
“Food safety is very important, so whenever you purchase meat, ensure that it is from a reputable establishment and that the meat has been inspected by the public health inspector and stamped” Mrs. Mitchell-Hennie said.
The Regional Environmental Health Officer added that several health risks are associated with purchasing meats not fit for consumption, which can result in harmful and adverse health effects, such as food borne illness or food poisoning.
She pointed out that some of the illnesses include: E. coli from ground/minced beef, BSE (bovine spongiform encephalitis) from beef cattle, TSE Scrapie (transmissible spongiform encephalopothies from goat and sheep, trichinosis from pork and salmonella from poultry.
For additional information, persons can contact the health department in their parish.