x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

How UAE abattoirs put safety first

A raft of checks and balances keep the UAE's slaughterhouses on top form.

DUBAI // Municipal abattoirs follow a meticulous process to ensure public health and safety.

Spot inspections and bacterial swab count inspections are carried out up to three times a week. Cutlery is sanitised and replaced for each animal. Cutting boards are coated with a thick layer of salt when not in use.

All employees get regular medical checks every six months and upon returning from leave. Anyone with any issue is reassigned outside the slaughterhouse or given leave.

The animals face stringent medical checks - a veterinarian inspects every stage of the slaughter and butchering.

"Some diseases can't be detected externally, they can only be diagnosed postmortem," said Dr Mahmoud Yousef Odeh, principal veterinary doctor at Dubai Municipality.

In the capital, there are municipal abattoirs at Bani Yas, Al Mina and Al Shahama and are usually open from 7am until 6pm during Ramadan. Dubai Municipality has abattoirs at Al Qusais, Bur Dubai, Hatta and Lusaili. They open from 7.30am to 6pm, closing at 11am on Fridays and 2pm on Saturdays.

Hussain Mohammed travels from Ajman to Al Qusais Abattoir.

"Everything is organised well and there is an emphasis on food safety and hygiene," said the Emirati. "I don't think people should slaughter at home any more. It's not hygienic and it's a big clean-up job afterward. I'd rather pay the Dh25 and have it done professionally and safely."