Safety of foods of animal origin is a critical issue that must be managed throughout the food chain from farm to fork. The consequences of food-borne illness/food borne zoonoses can be catastrophic not only for the consumer and health services but also for the retailers and other organizations in the supply chain. One important step in safeguarding food safety is the implementation of a structured food safety management system that is incorporated into the overall management activities of the organization and should address quality and legal requirements in addition to safety from contamination from physical, chemical, biological hazards.
Section 16.1 and 16.3 of the Livestock Act of Bhutan 2001 authorized BAFRA to inspect for quality and safety all livestock products intended for human consumption before such products come out in the market. Regulatory and Quarantine Inspectors of BAFRA carry out the inspection of different types of meat, dairy products and eggs. Inspection of food animal starts right from inspection of live animal (ante-mortem inspection) prior to processing at slaughter houses through the entire production chain till the meat of such animal reaches consumers’ table. Similarly, quality and safety regulation of dairy products and table eggs starts right from educating dairy and poultry groups on clean milk and egg production till such products are consumed by general public.
After the inspection, products deemed fit for human consumption are certified and allowed for sale in the market. Contrary to this, products deemed unfit for human consumption have to go through confiscation and disposal.
In addition to inspection of livestock products, all those processing plants must also be inspected and audited to ensure that the processing techniques, methodologies, structure, equipments, facilities etc provided there in confirm to the set standards. Establishments requiring inspection refer to and include slaughter houses, milking places, meat/milk processing, meat packaging, meat/milk transport, storage and sale counters.