The Punjab Food Authority has once again confirmed its good reputation of ensuring the availability of safe food by eliminating the threat of substandard, adulterated and unhygienic eatables. Recently, the authority thwarted an attempt to bring a sizable quantity of dead chicken into Multan and its suburbs. Dishonest elements planned to supply the dead chicken to meat retailers and eateries where this was to be sold as the meat of freshly-slaughtered chicken. A food authority team seized two and a half maunds of dead chicken and destroyed them. Meat of dead animals keeps on finding its way into markets, but timely action by relevant government agencies foils bids to sell the stuff saving unsuspecting consumers from consuming the unhealthy meat.
Government departments and provincial food safety authorities need the support of all those in the food business to put an end to the abominable practice of earning fat profits and easy money by selling toxic and prohibited meat of dead animals. Cattle and poultry farmers need to be extra vigilant to prevent dead animals from getting into the hands of unscrupulous elements who try to sell their meat in the market. This is necessary to keep cattle and poultry farming going as profitable businesses, because facilitating the sale of dead animal meat will likely make people wary of consuming meat, thereby harming the meat business at every level.
There are food safety authorities in all provinces and they are doing a commendable job to ensure food quality. They regularly conduct raids on retailer and wholesaler shops, and eateries of all grades. They take various deterrent actions against the erring like shutting their establishments, imposing fines and issuing notices aimed at bringing about improvement. A few years ago, a politician was so incensed by successes of the Punjab Food Authority that he had asked the provincial government to ‘rein’ in the agency as its activities were ‘harming’ businesses. This is not an indictment but proof of the authority’s good work.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2021.