BAGUIO CITY – The City Veterinarian and Agriculture Office (CVAO) has assured that fish and meat products they buy from the Baguio City Public Market are safe, clean, and fit for human consumption.
City Veterinarian Dr. Brigit Piok said her office is doing its best to ensure the health and safety of the people of Baguio by conducting regular inspections at the market.
She said 74-individuals were cited for violating various meat inspection laws and regulations during the first half of 2020 alone. They were either penalized with seven-day suspensions, fined, or were made to surrender meat products for proper disposal.
Piok said the CVAO is part of the composite meat market monitoring task force created under Executive Order No. 54, Series of 2020. It is chaired by Mayor Benjamin Magalong.
It conducts inspections, enforces meat inspection laws and regulations, accosts or recommends businesses found in violation of laws and ordinances, and formulates strategies to ensure food safety.
It is composed of representatives from CVAO, the Baguio City Police Office, Health Services Office, Market Superintendent’s Office, Legal Office, Food and Drug Administration, Public Order and Safety Division, Permits and Licensing, and Public Order and Safety divisions of the mayor’s office.
“Our office is in charge of making sure our public market, our slaughterhouses, and food processing establishments are clean. We make sure our constituents and other consumers are protected from animal-borne diseases or illnesses,” Piok added.
She explained that to guarantee market-goers get food that is fit for human consumption, “first, we check on the veterinarian’s certificate and shipping permits.”
“Second, we make sure the volume or head-count indicated in the certificate and permits are tally with the actual number of animals, fish, or meat products.” “Third, we check on the health of the transported animals, fish, or meat products”.
“If the products reflected in the certificate and permits are not the same, we reject it. If it is live, we ask the shipper to either return it from where it came from if the same is healthy, or, condemn and dispose it if it is not fit for human consumption. If processed, we confiscate, condemn, and dispose.”