Imported chicken unfit for humans sold in Trinidad
Trinidad and Tobago consumers are being sold old imported chicken – considered unfit for human consumption because it is 180 days past its slaughter date –, a local poultry association is claiming.
But president of the Supermarkets Association of Trinidad and Tobago (SATT) Dr Yunus Ibrahim has defended local supermarkets against the claims that he says are being made to protect the local poultry industry.
It was last Friday, during a Joint Select Committee meeting on food fraud at Parliament, that president of the Poultry Association of Trinidad and Tobago (PATT) Robin Phillips Phillips said that the chicken leg quarters marketed in the United States as “pet meat”, was being purchased by local retailers and sold to consumers.
In the United States, if it reaches 180 days they cannot get an export market that is willing to accept it, where they don’t have that standard implemented, and it is then sent to the pet food industry,” Philips said.
“Since the beginning of this year, there is a massive glut of chicken in the US as a result of China closing their borders, resulting in big discounts…One importer indicated that he got leg quarters for between US 18 and 20 cents a pound. It comes down here, and makes that product very inexpensive.”
But the SATT president, who told the Trinidad Express that Phillips’ claims have already been having an adverse effect on supermarkets, is defending those establishments.
He contended, in an interview with Newsday, that the statements were made “for the sole purpose of pushing the local markets”.
“For people to actually think that supermarkets are poisoning the consumers is really an unfair statement…,” he said.
Ibrahim insisted that all meat that enters Trinidad and Tobago has production dates, pack dates and best by dates on labels “and no supermarket is in the habit of accepting any goods from any supplier that is outside of those dates”.
But he agreed that any supermarket that does so, should be dealt with by the relevant authorities.
Ibrahim added that any blame for food not fit for human consumption
coming into the country should be laid squarely on the shoulders of those responsible for securing the twin-island republic’s borders.
“Nobody should be allowed to sell anything that is not fit for human consumption and we must have our own laws and regulations to state what is fit for consumption,” the SATT president said.
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