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The meat served in Karachi’s restaurants is never checked

SAMAA | - Posted: Nov 15, 2018 | Last Updated: 1 year ago
SAMAA |
Posted: Nov 15, 2018 | Last Updated: 1 year ago
The Animal Quarantine Department isn't able to conduct tests because it doesn't have enough money

Imported meat served at restaurants in Karachi is never checked for quality because the testing labs of the Animal Quarantine Department (AQD) are not working due to lack of funds.

“The annual budget for the laboratory is only Rs2 million and the official value of a single test is set at Rs75, so it is not possible to conduct the tests, ” said Animal Quarantine Department Director Muhammad Illyas.

The department only has data of how much meat was imported in the country since 2017, because before that the Customs department handled the issue. It hasn't been able to conduct tests since 2017 because it doesn't have enough money.

Related: Two children die after eating ‘unhygienic food’ at Karachi restaurant

“The meat that was being imported to Pakistan before 2017 got approval from the Customs department and then the case would be referred to the AQD,” said Illyas.

Since 2017, 4.5 million kg of meat was imported to Pakistan and is being used in restaurants without being tested or getting official approval.

According to a 1979 ordinance, the AQD has to quickly regulate the import, export and quarantine of animals and animal products in order to prevent the introduction or spread of diseases and to provide for matters connected to this process.

Related: Meat which expired three years ago recovered from Karachi eatery’s godown

Two children, Ahmed and Mohammad, died on November 10 after eating food from two places – Arizona Grill and Chunky Monkey. They ate candy floss at Chunky Monkey and went to Arizona Grill in Zamzama for dinner with their mother.

On Tuesday, Sindh Food Authority found three-year-old expired meat at the restaurant. Over 80kg of rotten meat and hundreds of expired squash (juice) bottles were confiscated.
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