The deceiving butchers and bad meat


The sale of unhygienic meat has considerably increased in the city as butchers slaughter sick animals and then inject their meat with water using a pressure pump, not only increasing its weight but also making it appear healthy.
However, the authorities concerned have remained unmoved and taken little steps so far to stop butchers from employing these deceiving and hazardous tactics.
The customers, while buying the meat treated in this manner, are duped into paying more for the meat.
They do not realise that they are buying unhygienic meat and that too by paying more than what it is actually worth.
According to the prices declared by the City District Government Karachi, the price of calf meat was set at Rs 300 per kilogramme, while the price of beef was Rs 260 per kilogramme.
Although the rates are checked by the authorities concerned, there is no process to monitor the quality of the meat.
According to an estimate, there are up to 8,000 meat shops in Karachi. These shops are bound to buy meat from slaughterhouses with the government stamp on it. But unfortunately, this is not happening in practical and butchers are never asked where they bought the meat from.
Most butchers buy animals from Malir 15 market and slaughter them themselves. This practice is illegal but it still goes on as they grease the palms of police and other authorities on a weekly basis.
Most butchers at the Empress Market in Saddar sell water-injected meat.
“We pay the police and food inspectors every week and that is why they do not come to check the stamp on our meat,” said a shopkeeper there.
Around 60 percent of butchers at the Liaquatabad meat market are also indulged in the same practice.
“Even if I sell the government-stamped meat, I still have to bribe police officials. What is the use of selling legal meat then?” said a shopkeeper at the market.
“If an animal is slaughtered, the butcher at slaughterhouse attaches a water hose to the heart of the animal. As water is injected into the heart, the animal’s veins swell and the weight increases by up to 20 kilogrammes,” he added.
Another butcher at the Liaquat Market said that they do not have time to wake up early in the morning and queue up for the government-stamped meat.
“There is an animal market in our locality. We buy animals of our choice and slaughter them ourselves. As far as the police are concerned, we hand them around Rs 500 to spare ourselves from selling the government-stamped meat,” he said.
Salman, a customer, said that he had no idea where and how water is injected into the meat.
“My wife always complains that the meat I buy from this market (Liaquat Market) takes a lot of time to be cooked and leaves behind water,” he added.
The butchers at the Landhi meat market refused to talk to Pakistan Today. However, a pan shop owner on the condition of anonymity told Pakistan Today that most butchers at the Landhi market are relatives.
“They sell the meat of overage animals and buffaloes. Except for four or five butchers, all of them bring their own animals. The Karachi Municipal Corporation officials visit the market after every four or five days to collect their share,” he said.
Abid Hasnain, former chairman of Food Science and Technology Department, University of Karachi, said that meat treated in this fashion is being sold in the city for decades. “The butchers want to deceive their customers. Water-injected meat becomes contaminated soon and cannot be kept frozen for a long time,” he said.