Improving quality of local meat

By Deidre Fanene ,

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MEATY WORK: Tom Olaaiga, David Frost, Michael Mickill and Michael Mailo.

MEATY WORK: Tom Olaaiga, David Frost, Michael Mickill and Michael Mailo.

Two meat experts from Australia are in Samoa. 

They are working with Samoa Meat Supplies at Vailima to help the staff improve the handling of meat and to align their work with Australia Meat Standards in boning, butchery, sausage making and the processing of goods.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Food Safety Consultant from Queensland, David Frost, said the trip is all about helping Samoa provide the best meat.

 “The Asian Development Bank has engaged with us to assist Tom (Olaaiga)who is the owner of the Samoa Meat Supplies with the development of his business,” he said.

“His meat is supplying the hotels so we need to lift the standards a little bit to get it up on what will be the equivalent of the meat that is imported through New Zealand.”

Mr. Frost said one of the challenges in Samoa is that the meat is generally tough.

“It’s also variable in quality because of the way it is processed so we just need to help Tom identify what’s good and what’s not,” he said. During the training, the Australians are helping Mr. Olaaiga’s butchers to bone up meat properly. 

“There’s a fair bit of cultural differences compared to what we expect to see in Australia, but we’re just going to live with that.

 “One of the major issues here is hygiene. If it’s processed through the M.S.U (Mobile Slaughter Unit) then it’s the equivalent to what people get from overseas because it is inspected by internationally qualified meat inspectors.

“But if it’s a bush killed then the standard and the hygiene is very low.

“Another thing is training the butchers on how to sharpen their knives because the knives here are very blunt and the blunter the knife the most likely will have an accident with it and then secondly its very tiring pushing a knife that is very blunt.” Mr. Frost is in Samoa with Trainer in meat boning, Michael Mickill.

The Manager of the Samoa Meat Supplies, Tom Olaaiga is extremely grateful for the opportunity. He said D&M Food Consultancy is the name of the Darwin- based company helping them. 

“This training has helped us to upskill and improve the handling of meat and to align ourselves with the Australia Meat Standard in boning, butchery ad sausage making,” said Mr. Olaaiga. “Employees have also gained knowledge in meat food safety as well as quality assurance.”

Mr. Olaaiga said one of his goals is to be able to export his meat.  “We would love to reach the Australian standards and I know we are asking a little bit too much but I know we can do it,” he said. “[And] in that case our customers will get better quality meat by our staff so we are trying to gear up our skills for the long term and to cater for the needs of all Samoans as well as businesses abroad.”

© Samoa Observer 2016

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