Rabat – The majority of Moroccan abattoirs do not meet the minimum health and hygiene standards according to a statement from the ONV.
“Aside from eight abattoirs which have been approved by the by the National Health Security Office of Food (ONSSA), the majority of abattoirs in towns and in rural areas do not meet minimum required in relation to hygiene and health standards,” the body stated in a press release.
Following ONV’s press release, the Moroccan Federation for Consumer Protection Association (FNAC) warned of the “real danger” for consumers buying red meat in Morocco.
“We have watched with great interest the state of the public abattoir situation (municipal and communal), which don’t even maintain minimum conditions for sanitary security,” said the FNAC in a press release, warning that this “represents a real danger for the health of consumers.”
ONSSA is responsible for inspecting and certifying Moroccan abattoirs, a process which includes veterinary inspections of the premises by ONV vets. On July 6, ONSSA announced it would suspend inspections of the abattoirs that it considers do not meet Moroccan health standards. ONSSA does not have the power to close abattoirs, but by suspending inspections and certifications, it is putting pressure on the abattoirs to lift their game.
“It’s the first time ONSSA has taken this type of action,” the president of the ONV National Council, Doctor Badr Tnacheri, Ouazzani told Morocco World News.
“The reasons is likely to be consumer pressure. Moroccan consumers have high expectations of the quality of the meat,” he said.
In terms of abattoirs getting up to standard, “some abattoirs need a small boost, while others will need more than that,” noted Ouazzani.
According to ONSSA statistics, Morocco has 179 municipal abattoirs and 670 rural abattoirs. ONSSA monitors approximately 200 000 tons of meat per year coming from abattoirs.