Maputo — The Mozambican National Inspectorate of Economic Activities (INAE) on Monday ordered the closure of the slaughterhouse belonging to the meat processing company BonSuino, in the southern city of Matola.
According to a report by the independent television station STV, a team of INAE inspectors visited the premises twice and found that they posed a threat to public health. INAE acted after clients of supermarkets supplied by BonSuino protested at the quality of the meat they had bought. The supermarkets themselves then began to look more closely at the meat they were obtaining and returned large quantities to the slaughterhouse.
Last Friday, an INAE team visited BonSuino to check on the veracity of the accusations. The company management, however, refused to accept the recommendations left by the inspectors.
So INAE returned on Monday, found there had been no improvement and ordered the closure of the slaughterhouse and the processing facilities.
INAE inspector Lucia Muandule said the inspectors had found large amounts of rotting meat and meat derivatives in the freezers, and a complete lack of hygiene among the staff. "We noted extremely poor conditions of cleanliness in the factory, and in the bathrooms for the workers".
"There is no respect for the procedures for treating meat", she added. "They put different types of meat together in the same place".
The inspectors found over 3.3 tonnes of meat that was clearly unfit for human consumption, and ordered it to be incinerated.
The company did not want the press to accompany the inspectors, as has become normal practice on INAE's inspections. Reporters were only able to enter the premises after intervention by the police. Even then, the manager who was present threatened the reporters, and even laughed about the situation.
The STV cameras showed scenes of stomach-churning fifth, with swarms of flies gathering around piles of rotting meat.
Muandule said BonSuino can only reopen after it has implemented all the instructions left by INAE. It must also pay a fine for its violations of public health regulations, although the amount has not yet been fixed.