St. George, Grenada, October 28, 2019 (IICA) – The Delegation in Grenada of the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture (IICA) held interactive sessions with staff at the national abattoir on aspects concerning food safety, occupational health and safety and biosafety plans.
During the workshop, held from October 14-17, they identified problems and their possible solutions. 15 staff and butchers benefited from those interactive sessions in support of the Grenada Ministry of Agriculture goal to strengthen the abattoir’s technical capacity. The workshop was part of the final phase of IICA’s Agricultural Health and Food Safety (AHFS) Hemispheric Programme being executed in Grenada.
The first phase of this AHFS Programme in Grenada, in June 2019, involved an assessment of the equipment at the abattoir by an engineer from COGEMAT, in Italy, the supplier company for the equipment. The abattoir staff were also trained by the engineer on the proper use of the equipment to reduce on unexpected breakdowns.
Maxine Parris-Aaron, IICA Agricultural Health Specialist based in Guyana, facilitated the final phase of the AHFS Programme where training, meetings and consultations with the abattoir staff and other stakeholders were conducted.
The emphasis was to discuss the challenges related to occupational safety and health, food safety issues and matters relating to the development of an emergency slaughter plan and a biosafety manual. The information obtained from the consultations will be used to develop appropriate documentation.
As part of the consultations and training, the staff was introduced to samples of the different types of safety signs, protective gears and first aid supplies.
The abattoir needs equipment that are functioning properly to reduce down time and injuries from unsafe equipment; and they were are trained to observe safety precautions and to quickly respond to accidents.
The Chief Veterinary Officer of the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, Kimond Cummings, supported all the activities and gave valuable information that will be reflected into the various plans and manuals being developed. He complemented IICA for its support to the abattoir over the past 18 months.
The next steps in the operationalization of the abattoir are to source some of the much-needed equipment as recommended by the engineer, install safety signs, and finalize the slaughter plan and biosafety manual.
IICA is the specialized agency for agriculture in the Inter-American system, with a mission to encourage, promote and support its 34 Member States in their efforts to achieve agricultural development and rural well-being through international technical cooperation of excellence.
Maxine Parris-Aaron, Agricultural Health specialist, IICA Representation in Guyana