Msunduzi butchery blitz exposes 13 unhygienic meat outlets

2014-09-15 00:00

Seven out of 13 meat outlets inspected in a recent Northern suburbs butchery blitz were found to be operating in unhygienic conditions.

Msunduzi Municipality’s Environmental Health and Licensing Units together with the KZN Veterinary Services conducted the raids. Msunduzi Spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha confirmed that fines amounting to R40 000 were issued. She said about 500 kgs of meat that had not been sourced from a licenced abattoir were seized from two of the seven butcheries and condemned. The confiscated meat was taken to KZN Department of Veterinary Services laboratory in Pietermaritzburg to be incinerated.

Last week’s butchery blitz was followed up on Friday with a raid on food outlets and hairdressing salons in the Central Business District (CBD). The Environment Officers were clearly visible in their bright green shirts. The Municipality said 13 summons were issued after the CBD raid amounting to fines totalling R25 500. Contraventions included the storage of skin lightening creams containing Hydroquinone(banned in South Africa). Contraventions were for operating a food premises without a valid certificate of acceptability (COA), dirty conditions, allowing smoking on the premises as well as the non-provision of hot water and disinfecting solutions

As a matter of public interest, The Witness asked the municipality for the immediate release of the names of the errant butcheries. Mafumbatha said the alleged transgressors had an option of paying the fine or contesting the summons in court. By the time of going to press none had paid an admission of guilt fine, therefore the municipality was seeking legal opinion on the release of the names.

By Friday she asked for the newspaper to make an application in terms of the Promotion to Acess to Information Act (PAIA). This was done. It can take weeks for a PAIA application to be processed.

The Witness found that the bulk of the 500kgs of meat had allegedly been confiscated from “Save You Housewives,” in Chota Motala Road. The shop was contacted, the owner was out and we were told that the managers either Faizel or Elaine would be contacting the newspaper on the telephone numbers provided.

This did not happen.  The butcher shop also received fines for fly infestation, dirty conditions, defective flooring and no handwash basins.

Supreme Butchery was also fingered as having meat that was not sourced from a licenced abattoir. However, owner Wasim Moosa denied this. He said he had explained to the inspectors that he had offered a friend temporary storage facilities for his meat and that this person’s contact details were given to the inspectors.

Moosa said he only took ownership of the butcher shop three months ago. He welcomed the inspector’s visit but not the fine. “They should have told us what was wrong, given us a few days to put things right and if we did not comply then they could have fined us,” he said.

[see sidebar for the other butcheries traced by The Witness for hygiene violations and what they had to say].

• nalini@witness.co.za

Othe-r butcheries fingered in the blitz

Willowton Meats – Owner Goolam Dawood said he would definitely be contesting some of the allegations made. He also welcomed the inspection and said he endeavoured to maintain high standards. He alleged that the bulk of his R11 000 fine was for waste water discharge. “I am not a plumber and was unaware of this. I will be sorting this out with the plumbing company,” he said.

United Meats owner was incensed at getting a fine for rodent activity. The company’s Mahomed Moosa sent a photograph to The Witness showing the municipality cleaning the storm water drains outside the shop days before the inspection. He said this sent rats scuttling into all the surrounding premises. Moosa said they had been telling the municipality for years to do something about the rat infestation in the Raisethorpe areas. He also questioned why businesses in the northern suburbs were being singled out and why the blitz did not include other suburbs

Al Ameens allegely received a fine of R1 500 for poor ventilation and another butchery in Chota Motala Road, whose owner the Witness could not contact at the time of going to press was fined for not having hot water, no soap or towels at the hand wash basin and for smoking on the premises.

Msunduzi Spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said the blitzes will be part of an ongoing environmental health clean up campaign that will see the municipality visiting butcheries throughout the city at least once a month as well as regular inspections on food premises and hair salons.

Other butcheries fingered in the blitz:

Willowton Meats – Owner Goolam Dawood said he would definitely be contesting some of the allegations made. He also welcomed the inspection and said he endeavoured to maintain high standards. He alleged that the bulk of his R11 000 fine was for waste water discharge. “I am not a plumber and was unaware of this. I will be sorting this out with the plumbing company,” he said.

United Meats owner was incensed at getting a fine for rodent activity. The company’s Mahomed Moosa sent a photograph to The Witness showing the municipality cleaning the storm water drains outside the shop days before the inspection. He said this sent rats scuttling into all the surrounding premises. Moosa said they had been telling the municipality for years to do something about the rat infestation in the Raisethorpe areas. He also questioned why businesses in the northern suburbs were being singled out and why the blitz did not include other suburbs

Al Ameens allegedly received a fine of R1 500 for poor ventilation and another butchery in Chota Motala Road, whose owner the Witness could not contact at the time of going to press was fined for not having hot water, no soap or towels at the hand wash basin and for smoking on the premises.

Msunduzi Spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said the blitzes will be part of an ongoing environmental health clean-up campaign that will see the municipality visiting butcheries throughout the city at least once a month as well as regular inspections on food premises and hair salons.

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