The National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) has reminded the public to always look for its seal on every meat sold in the market to ensure their safety against possible diseases.
In a virtual presser of the Department of Agriculture (DA), NMIS executive director Dr. Reildrin Morales said that aside from considering the price, it is essential to note that there are many other factors to consider when buying meat.
“Kung minsan iyong ating mamimili ang nagiging pangunahing konsiderasyon sa pagbili ng karneng baboy o hindi lang ng baboy, pati ng manok at baka, nagiging pangunahing konsiderasyon ay presyo. Dapat natin maintindihan na maraming bagay ang nakakaapekto sa aing kalusugan na maaring dala ng karneng ito. Mga baktirya na mula sa karne,” he said.
The NMIS seal signifies that the meat was inspected before and after the animal has been slaughtered, he added. The public is assured that meat will be safe for their family as long as they will buy only those with the seal on it.
“Napakaimportante ng seal ng NMIS sapagka’t ito ang natatanging patunay na yong karneng ating binibili ay nasuri ng ating mga inspector sa mga bahay-katayan, hindi galing sa may sakit na baboy. Ito ay malusog bago dinala sa katayan at nong nakatay ay tiningnan uli ang mga parte ng katawan ng baboy, kung halimbawa na may nakita na anomaly o deperensya sa karne ng baboy, ito ay inaalis,” he said.
NMIS, as specialized regulatory service attached to DA, is the sole national controlling authority on all matters pertaining to meat inspection and meat hygiene as guided by laws and issuances. It is formed out of Republic Act 9296 as amended by RA 10536 or the Meat Inspection Code of the Philippines.
NMIS on its previous advisory stressed that without physical access to the items being sold, consumers buying meat online have no way of knowing its quality, and rely mainly on textual description and images provided by the seller. It still encourages the public to buy meat from local stores where they can actually see what they are buying.
“May pagkakataon na ang baboy ay kinatay na may sakit at hindi na-inspect ng NMIS, yong mga illegally slaughtered, ito ay isang dahilan kung bakit tayo may Food Safety Act o batas na naglalayon na gabayan tayo kung paano masisiguro na ligtas ang ating pagkain. Partikular ngayon, ang mandato ng NMIS ay para seguraduhin ang ating meat safety,” he said.
However, in the case of online selling of meat, customers should ensure that they are buying from licensed meat suppliers or entities and should ask about the source of meat being sold. Buyers could ask for the license to operate of the seller online and can be verified through its official website www.nmis.gov.ph
Meat must be kept in a cooler or insulated container to keep its freshness and avoid spoilage. Imported meat must be maintained in its frozen state at all times until such time that it will be cooked.
The customer must ask the length of delivery time from the source to destination, it should not exceed two hours to maintain the freshness of meat.
The meat should have no unusual odor, unusual color like greenish or red spots, and firm to the touch when thawed. NMIS reminded the public not to buy imported meat without refrigeration, or those which are being sold where the meat is outside coolers or refrigerators.