ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Reacting to news of an increase in the illegal slaughtering of livestock, several local supermarkets have defended the quality of their meats and have said residents need not fear purchasing the commodity from them.
Issuing the assurance is Bargain Centre, both Epicurean branches and Gourmet Basket.
Floor manager and supervisor of Bargain Centre, Kurt Michael told OBSERVER Media, “Consumers do not have to beware of what we sell. We don’t buy local beef; we bring our meats in mainly from Brazil and when they come in, the health officials inspect them once again at the Port before they are cleared.”
Michael said the supermarket has always rejected “fly by nights” who come offering to sell meats.
“We stop them at the door as soon as they ask because we are not interested. Our meats are stamped before they come here and officials here have to validate it again before we can put anything out on our shelves,” Michael said.
As it relates to crops, the supervisor said Bargain Centre supports the local farmers but only through the Central Marketing Corporation (CMC) to ensure it gets good quality produce and not anything obtained through praedial larceny.
Similarly, Henk Davis, manager of Gourmet Basket, said the company, which is also owned by meat importers Island Provision, sells only approved meats.
“It is safe to purchase meats from us because whatever local beef we purchase goes through the abattoir, is inspected by them and slaughtered by them,” Davis reported.
An official representing the two Epicurean supermarket branches located at Friars Hill Road and Jolly Harbour expressed similar remarks.
In recent months, farmers have been complaining that their livestock is being stolen and often times the thieves slaughter them on the farms, leaving the heads and bones behind.
Police have been investigating but the culprits continue to evade them.
(More in today’s Daily OBSERVER)