Some abattoirs, food factories are danger to society

28th June 2018
NON-COMPLIANT: Abattoirs built a long time ago do not comply with safety standards as set by new legislation Source:The Midweek Sun

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By Dikarabo Ramadubu -


Some abattoirs and meat processing operations that were registered before the Livestock and Meat Industries Act of 2007 (LMIA) are a serious health hazard and give both residents and government sleepless nights.

Acting Minister of Agriculture Development and Food Security, Dikgang Makgalemele revealed in Parliament that amongst such companies is Senn Foods factory. He said that since taking over regulatory control of abattoirs and meat processors, his ministry has had challenges posed by pre-existing facilities which began operation before the introduction of measures set out through the LMIA.

He was answering a question from MP for Tlokweng Masego Segokgo who asked whether in licensing Senn Foods, the Director of Veterinary Services complied with the provisions of the Livestock and Meat Industries Act and caused a comprehensive report regarding the suitability of the plans, site and other health matters.

Makgalemele responded that in licensing Senn Foods, like all other abattoirs and meat processors, his ministry seeks to assess compliance of the facilities to provisions of the Livestock and Meat Industries Act of 2007 (LMIA). “In this regard, audits and inspections of such facilities are carried out annually prior to issuance of licences. Facility operators are required to provide an action plan to address non-conformities where these are identified during the audit and inspection process.”

However, Senn Foods factory was licensed by then Ministry of Local Government to operate years before the passing of the LMIA (which effected in August 2007 to house the approval and licensing mandate within one Authority and therefore, achieve consistency and efficiency of enforcement).

Makgalemele said that unfortunately, at the time of taking over regulatory control of pre-existing facilities, not all records such as plans were availed to his ministry. This notwithstanding, he said the audit process now carried out by his staff annually ensures that all health matters relating to processing are addressed and that all new facilities fully comply with provisions of the LMIA.

“My ministry plays the role of auditing and verification of compliance to LMIA of the Senn Foods factory prior to licensing of the facility,” he said, adding however, that there are challenges posed by pre-existing facilities which began operation before the introduction of measures set out through the LMIA.

“While at the time of their first establishment they were considered to be a good distance away from residential areas, with the growing of the cities, towns and villages, they now find themselves in the middle of town. My ministry however continues to engage with the departments of Environmental Affairs as well as Pollution Control and Waste Management to address issues of concern arising from meat premises operations,” said the minister.




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