Without physical access to the items being sold, consumers buying meat online have no way of knowing its quality, and rely mainly on textual description and images provided by the seller.
In buying highly perishable food like meat, any inaccurate, false, or exaggerated presentation of facts may cause potential food safety hazard. Therefore, the public is encouraged to buy meat from local stores where they can actually see what they are buying.
In case of online selling of meat, the public is hereby advised to:
1. Make sure you are buying from licensed meat suppliers/entities;
2. Ask the seller to provide information about the source meat being sold, and if this is a licensed business entity. Any information can be verified with the National Meat Inspection Service (NMIS) website: www.nmis.gov.ph;
3. Bear in mind that meat must be kept in a cooler or insulated container to keep its freshness and avoid spoilage. Chilled meat is cold to the touch, while frozen meat must be rock solid. In case of imported meat, its frozen state must be maintained at all times, until such time that it will be cooked.
4. Seek information on the length of delivery time from the physical store up to your home. Length of travel must not exceed two hours to maintain the freshness of meat.
5. Consider the physical properties of meat:
· no unusual odor
· no unusual color like greenish or red spots
· firm to the touch when thawed
6. Do not buy imported meat without refrigeration, or those which are being sold where the meat are outside coolers/refrigerators.
“Be informed, be safe”