Local Gov't 2016 : St Catherine meat safe to eat

November 04, 2016
A butcher seen here preparing meat for inspection at the Spanish Town Abattoir owned and operated by Byron Lee Page.
Butcher Junior Ellis selling his meat at the Spanish Market.

Most abattoirs in St Catherine are complying with the St Catherine Health Department standard operating procedures.

Byron Lee Page, manager and owner of the main slaughterhouse in Spanish Town, told THE WEEKEND STAR that he does everything to comply with the standard operating conditions established by the St Catherine Health Department, ensuring at all times that the slaughterhouse is kept clean and sanitised.

"We operate a small business here with a staff of eight workers, who slaughter most of the animals that provide meats for residents of St Catherine. All meats are tested by local health inspectors before going to the meat market," he told THE WEEKEND STAR.

Vincent Warmington, a St Catherine parish council staffer who has the responsibility for maintaining the sanitation of abattoirs and meat markets in the parish, said he ensures that the facilities are kept in good condition.

"Even thought the abattoir is seldom used by butchers, I ensure that it is kept up to the standard operating conditions. I washed it with chlorine on a regular basis," said Warmington.

Spanish Town Mayor Norman Scott told THE WEEKEND STAR that recent renovations carried out by the parish council have improved the state of the meat market, making it more appealing for shoppers.

Meanwhile chief public health inspector for the parish, Richard Baker, said the slaughterhouses in the parish are 90 per cent satisfactory.

"Weekly inspections are carried out at these facilities to ensure that standard operating conditions established by the health department are adhere to and butchers are in compliance with the necessary requirements needed for them to practise their trade," Baker said.

In his May report to the St Catherine Parish Council, Baker said that there was a problem with rodent infestation at some of the parish's slaughterhouses, a situation, according to him, that has since been corrected.

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