SPAR Zimbabwe and Bellevue Abattoir Butcheries have refuted claims that they are selling meat from cattle that will have died from anthrax and the January disease.
This comes as videos were circulating on social media platforms of dead or diseased cattle being reportedly bought by meat retailers who then sell to consumers across the country, sparking fears of a disease outbreak.
In a statement, Spar Zimbabwe refuted claims that the beef being sold in the Yellowcob group of Spar stores was from dead or diseased animals.
“All beef produced by Yellowcob Enterprise P/L and sold in the Spar corporate stores comes from the following registered abattoirs and has been inspected by the relevant health authority and carcasses are graded and passed for sale for human consumption. These include Koala Park, Bellevue Abattoirs, MC Meats (Pvt) Ltd and Mbokodo.
“These are large, established abattoirs with a sound reputation and track record, and they supply all recognised retail outlets in Zimbabwe,” read the statement.
The statement further refuted that value beef currently on promotion in the Spar stores, or any other meat product, has been obtained from unlicensed or contaminated sources, adding that Spar Zimbabwe only uses registered abattoirs and does not import beef or use unlicensed runners to supply meat.
“Every abattoir in Zimbabwe is required by law to be registered with the authorities and all animals and carcasses are inspected and graded by state veterinarians before leaving their premises.
“Carcasses are marked with a roller stamp which identifies the abattoir where the carcass comes from and the grade of beef, for example, super choice, commercial, economy and manufacturing.
“All carcasses in the cold rooms of Spar butcheries can, therefore, be easily identified and traced,” further read the statement.
Similarly, in a statement Bellevue Abattoir Butcheries refuted claims that it purchased any dead or diseased cattle, saying that it abides by strict regulations and guidelines issued by the Agriculture ministry and its technical teams in the veterinary department.
“We would like to categorically distance ourselves from social media posts attempting to tarnish our image and that of the beef industry in Zimbabwe.
“We have measures in place that require the Veterinary Department to inspect every single animal on arrival to ensure that it’s healthy.
“Each animal is then inspected by the Zimbabwe Republic Police to ensure that it travelled legally and is not stolen. Slaughter then begins after the animal has rested for at least 48 hours,” read the statement.
The statement further indicated that after slaughter, the Veterinary Department then inspects each carcass to ensure that it is fit for human consumption, checking for any underlying factors.
“The carcasses are then graded into various grades, super, choice, commercial, economy, manufacture, by the designated government grader.
“Carcasses are marked with a roller stamp which identifies the abattoir where the carcass comes from and the grade of beef that passes through the abattoir for slaughter.
“Each animal and its subsequent carcass are recorded by the Veterinary Department before leaving our premises which is all done under CCTV surveillance, of which all records are kept.
“Furthermore, we have our own supply from our farms that feed into our abattoirs excellent quality beef that is fed for at least 90 days with highest grade of feeds.
“Our selection process is vigorous to ensure the highest standards and quality fit for human consumption,” further read the statement.