Policy amended to increase food safety

James Kon

Brunei Darussalam Food Authority (BDFA) is introducing the Wholesome Meat Order 2011 (Amendment) 2020 and its regulations in a bid to increase food safety in the country including the proper way of handling fresh meat. The act will be implemented in phases in accordance to priority.

Local fresh meat companies are given a grace period to fulfil the requirements before the Act is fully enforced.

This was said during a session to disseminate information on the Wholesome Meat Order 2011 (Amendment) 2020 and its regulations, Public Health (Food) Act, Chapter 182, 2000 (Amendment) 2020 organised by BDFA at Ministry of Health’s Dewan Al-A’fiah yesterday.

Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar officiated the event. Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy (Economy) and Chairman of BDFA Board of Directors Dato Seri Paduka Dr Haji Abdul Manaf bin Haji Metussin and senior officials from various ministries were also present.

BDFA CEO Wong Wai See said, “BDFA was established on January 1 this year and is a statuary body that regulates and coordinates all matters relating to food, whether it is fresh produce, fresh and frozen meat, processed food, food served in restaurants, cafés or in markets, convenience shops and others.

“In ensuring food safety in the country and food sold in shops and served on table are safe,” she added, “BDFA has laws and regulations to support its function.

The Brunei Darussalam Food Authority (BDFA) has introduced the Wholesome Meat Order 2011 (Amendment) 2020 and its regulations that will be implemented in phases in accordance to priority, in a bid to increase food safety including the proper way of handling fresh meat. Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar officiated the launch yesterday. A session to disseminate information on the order was also held, at Dewan Al-A’fiah of the Ministry of Health.
Minister of Health Dato Seri Setia Dr Haji Mohd Isham bin Haji Jaafar tours the exhibition. PHOTOS: JAMES KON & MUIZ MATDANI
ABOVE & BELOW: Brunei Darussalam Food Authority CEO Wong Wai See delivers a speech; and attendees at the launch

She also said, “The laws and regulations are being disseminated to all the stakeholders before enforcement.

“BDFA has a role to ensure that fresh meats sold in local market are in accordance with the established acts and regulations. The implementation of the act and regulation will be done in phases.”

The provisions that need to be complied to include: affixing signs or tags of the slaughterhouse on the carcass of animals; labelling the date of slaughter and type of meat; ensuring the freshness of meat by controlling storage temperature, maintaining self-hygiene by using complete personal protective equipment (PPE) and keeping the environment clean, including pest control.

In Phase 1, slaughtering centres that have an average daily production capacity of 5,000 chickens or 30 to 50 cows, buffaloes or lambs and have a large market share will be given a grace period of six months until February 28, 2022.

In Phase 2, slaughtering centres that have an average daily production capacity of 5,000 chickens or 30 to 50 cows, buffaloes or lambs and have a moderate market share will be given a grace period of nine months until May 31, 2022.

In Phase 3, slaughtering centres of small capacity and involve slaughtering animals such as quills will be given a grace period of 12 months until August 31, 2022.

After the grace period in each phase, any companies or businesses found to have violated the provision can face a compound fine of up to BND1,000, according to Section 36 of the Wholesome Meat Order 2011 (Amendment) 2020. Failure to do so will result in the case being forwarded to the courts.

The Wholesome Meat Order 2011 (Amendment) 2020 is focussing on owners of slaughtering centres and meat transportation companies while Public Health (Food) Act, Chapter 182, 2000 (Amendment) 2020 is aimed at ensuring that the freshness of fresh and frozen meat.

BDFA has carried out monitoring since March whereby samples have been taken on imported meat for safety checks from the aspects of microbiology, residual livestock medicine and agricultural pesticides.

Sample collection will continue at slaughtering centres and business premises to ensure the safety of raw materials.

Owners and managers of abattoirs, freeze storage companies, supermarkets and grocery stores as well as representatives from meat markets attended.