DHARAN, Sept 21: A team of Dharan Sub-metropolitan City inspected meat shops in the city on Wednesday.
The team led by Deputy Mayor Manju Bhandari Subedi inspected meat shops in the city keeping in view the upcoming Dashain festival when meat consumption jumps manifolds.
Of the shops inspected by the team on Wednesday, only few were found maintaining standards prescribed by the government. Most of the shops and slaughterhouses were operating in an unmanaged and unhygienic manner, a member of the inspection team told Republica.
The team has directed operators of shops and slaughterhouse, who failed to maintain standards specified by the government, to maintain the standards within 10 days.
“Meat sold in most of the shops was not fit for consumption. Many were selling meat products near slaughterhouses,” Deputy Mayor Subedi said. “We have directed the owners to maintain cleanliness and abide by the specified standards within 10 days. If they do not follow our direction, we will take needful action against them as per the existing law.”
A broader discussion held in the city on September 10 had formed a market inspection committee under coordination of Deputy Mayor Subedi.
The team inspected meat market in Ram Mini Market of Buddha Marga in Dharan-7, and meat shops and fresh houses in Machhabhaudi (Sadan Road) in Dharan 3 and Milan Path in Dharan-7.
The existing standards require meat shops to have at least one deep freezer. Similarly, shops should be far from slaughterhouse.
“However, most of the shops were near the slaughterhouse and they were keeping meat uncovered,” Dhiren Rai, a public health microbiologist, told Republica. “Meat should always be kept in deep freezer. But most of the shops did not have freezer.”
The meat shops in Ram Mini Market were very close to smelly toilets. “Consumption of meat sold in such places can impact public's health,” Rai added.
The inspection committee has directed owner of the shop to immediately shift toilets from there.
“Today's inspection shows that meat shops were showing indifference to public health. Butchers were not even wearing apron. Also, the shops were close to slaughterhouses,” Krishna Prasad Tamrakar, regional vice-president of Forum for Protection of Consumer Rights Nepal, said. “Now that the local body has taken initiative, I am hopeful that things will change for good:
The locals of Machhabhaudi have also complained that the unmanaged slaughterhouse has affected local environment. They requested the inspection committee to take needful decision to shift slaughterhouse from their locality. “There is a slaughterhouse in the middle of residential area. It is difficult to live their because of the bad smell,” Madhav Krishna Ranjitkar, a local of the area, said.