Standard requirements for meat shops okayed

The city started implementing Ordinance No. 87, series of 2021, which prescribed the standard requirements for meat shops in the city.

Under the said measure, it is the policy of the local government to adopt food safety as provided for under the Republic Act (RA0 10611, otherwise known as the Food Safety Act of 2013 and its implementing rules and regulations.

Further, the spirit and value of equality as embodied in the preamble of the Constitution shall be concertized in the uniformity of compliance and monitoring of all meat shops, whether they are found in the city public market, satellite markets, retail stores and supermarkets, and other vending modalities, including those in the barangays within the city.

The standard requirements for meat shops in the city range from zoning and site requirements, shop planning and design, electrical and lighting requirements, sanitation requirements, solid waste management, hygiene and food handling and packaging.

The ordinance shall be primarily be implemented by the Permits and Licensing Division under the City Mayor’s Office, the City Market office, the City Veterinary and  Agriculture Office (CVAO), City Planning and Development Office, the Public Order and Safety Division, City Health Services Office, the representatives of the various meat associations in the public market, monitoring bodies and other departments with coverage on the various standards.

The ordinance provides that the City Mayor may create through an executive order a Meat Monitoring Body to implement the same.

The National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) as the national body that implements meat monitoring shall be involved through the monitoring body or in any capacity as mandated by their agency.

The ordinance mandated all those who will put up new meat stalls to incorporate in their stall design all standard requirements in compliance with the prescribed standard requirements.

Moreover, owners of existing meat stalls in the city shall be given 3 years to fully comply with the pertinent provisions of the ordinance and that the prescribed standard requirement shall apply to any new construction in the city public market and satellite markets in the city.

For violators of the zoning requirement, shop planning and design, electrical and lighting requirements, sanitation requirements and solid waste management, a fine of P1,000 shall be imposed for the first offense, a fine of P3,000 with warning shall be meted for the second offense and a fine of P5,000 and closure of establishment shall be imposed for the third offense.

Earlier, the CVAO and other departments were mandated to implement RA 9296 (Meat Inspection Code of the Philippines), RA 7394 (Consumer Act of the Philippines), RA 10611 (Food Safety Act), and the Department of Agriculture Administrative Order (AO) No. 5 on the rules and regulations on hygienic handling of newly slaughtered meat and meat markets, and AO No. 6 on the rules and regulations on hygienic handling of chilled, frozen and thawed meat in meat markets, provided that, the proper sanitary, hygienic handling and selling of meat and meat products in the markets, slaughterhouses and other places where meat is handled. – Dexter A. See