The Philippine National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) is stepping up efforts in safeguarding meat, livestock and poultry industry in the region in its bid to protect the safety of the consuming public and promote the industry.
NMIS-CAR Regional Technical Director Dr Florencio Pintor said their office has accredited 19 meat establishments such as slaughterhouses, meat processing plants, meat cutting plants, and poultry dressing plant in the region.
Five were certified as having Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) based on the NMIS standards. The accreditation stands for a yearand if not maintained, the classification will be downgraded according to Dr Pintor.
GMP certified meat establishments, which fall under class "AA" are the Poultry Dressing Plant of Pamora in Pidigan, Abra; Meat Processing Plants of Josier Frozen Foods in Upper QM and Grow Foods Meat Products in Leonila Hill; Gismundo Slaughterhouse in Tuba, Benguet and Alabanza Private Abattoir in Tuba, Benguet.
NMIS-CAR Senior Meat Control Officer Dr Yvette Soller, who is among the few certified Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) auditors nationwide, said GMP compliance can be used as a starting point for controlling food safety risks from biological, physical and chemical hazards.
Dr Soller said HACCP certification which is mandatory for class "AAA" accredited establishments requires a more specific means of hazard identification. Class "AAA" refers to those with facilities and operational procedures appropriated to slaughter livestock and fowls for sale in any market, domestic or international.
Class "AA" refers to those with facilities and operational procedures sufficiently adequate that the livestock and poultry slaughtered is suitable for sale in any market within the country.
Class "A" refers to those with facilities and procedures of minimum adequacy that the livestock and fowls slaughtered are suitable for distribution and sale only within the city or municipality where the slaughterhouse is located.
Dr Pintor said that a product may have obtained a GMP or HACCP accreditation however, this again depends upon the level of retailers selling the products. If not placed in appropriate display facilities or storage areas then such kinds of accreditation is useless as the quality suffers, he stressed.
Dr Pintor also bared the establishments for upgrading of classification as follows: Lagawe Municipal Abattoir and Lamut Municipal Slaughterhouse (SLH) in Ifugao and Tabuk City Abattoir in Kalinga from class "A" to "AA" while the Bontoc Municipal Abattoir in Mt. Province accredited as class "AA" has application for upgrading.
Other NMIS accredited meat establishments in the region all under Class "A" are the Bangued Municipal SLH, Manabo Municipal SLH, and Tayum Municipal SLH in Abra; Pudtol Municipal SLH in Apayao; the Baguio City SLH, Lea's Frozen Foods, Leony's Frozen Foods, and Pig Planet Meat Products, all in Baguio; and the Philex Mines Abattoir in Benguet. The Kiangan Municipal SLH in Ifugao is still on the process of being accredited.
Meanwhile, in line with the National Meat Safety Week held last month, last week the NMIS recognised the regional winners in the 2009 Search for the Best Meat establishments in the Cordillera. These are the Pig Planet Meat Products located in Balacbac Road under class A for Meat Cutting Plant (Special Award); Lea's Frozen Foods in Aurora Hill and Grow Foods Meat Products in Leonila Hill, all in Baguio City, are the regional winners under class A and AA respectively for Meat Processing Plant; and Pamora Farm Incorporated in Pidigan, Abra under class AA (Special Award) for Poultry Dressing Plant.
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