Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Meat processing industry has to take extra care to keep the products offered by them safe as animal products are more susceptible to incidence pathogenic infections. The rigorous licensing and monitoring regime that is in place in many countries makes it mandatory for the abattoirs to register with the regulatory agencies with their facilities open to inspection any time. In India under the Meat Food Products Order of the Ministry of Food Processing Industries, clear guidelines are laid down as to the mandatory facilities to be in place before stating the processing operations. How ever such stringent measures can be insisted on only for units operating in the organized sector and there are many crude slaughtering facilities working illegally outside the ambit of law, which has serious consequences on the health of the consumer. .

It may not be a consolation for the Indian consumer that such violations are reported in other countries also. Here is a case from Australia."The Government is committed to ensuring food production is properly licensed and audited and we'll crack down hard on those who think they can cut corners," he said. "Laws already in place mean anyone caught processing meat for sale illegally can face a fine of $55,000 for an individual or up to $275,000 for a corporation." Well, the intention is clear but whether in practice such heavy impositions will be a deterrent against chronic violators remains to be seen.

In India the situation is indeed alarming with organized abattoirs, under the licensing regime accounting for a fraction of the meat production offered to the consumer. Thanks to a vibrant meat export industry that supplies products to several countries, the abattoirs operated by them can boast of international standards. It is a pity that most of the abattoirs working in urban areas, owned by the local civic authorities, are dilapidated and their modernization is still a cry in the wilderness.


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