For a housewife, the journey of food safety, especially beef consumption, begins from the point of purchase, notably abattoirs.
The inadequate level of hygiene at our abattoirs today is a big concern.
How thorough are the agencies that ensure meat from abattoirs is safe for food?
A visit to some Lagos Abattoirs shows that all is not well. From the contamination of meat to several occupational hazards of workers. Truth be told, the current safety conditions of slaughterhouses are not in line with the food safety act of Nigeria.
The state of facilities and practices has increased occupational exposure to diseases and injury.
The poor hygienic condition urgently calls for the improvement of facilities at our abattoirs to ensure safety and reduce the risk of food contamination.
Simultaneously, training programs should target workers and inspectors to improve awareness of the risks associated with the deplorable conditions of these meat reaches the end consumer.
HSENations sort Mrs. Oluwakemi Olawale a food safety expert who said it’s important for veterinary doctors to certify the cows intended for slaughter to ensure that they are healthy but then what happens after that?
How are the carcass handled? They are thrown on slabs that probably have been washed but not sanitized. They are not adequately bagged in an excellent hygienic environment, and possibly transported in unhealthy conditions.
It’s important that meat gotten from abbatoirs should be transported in temperature-controlled vehicles. But that is not the case even with the Eko meat van.
The situation gets worse when they are displayed on tables in the market by the sellers instead of being refrigerated; they are sometimes soaked in water.
Ideally, cooking should eliminate most of the microbes, but there is a risk of cross-contamination, which should also be prevented.
In an ideal environment, meat should be stored in refrigerated display units to keep them fresh, while unsold ones should be kept either chilled or frozen, but not within the danger zone temperature where microorganisms proliferate.
Meat and other consumables bought from the market are perishables that require a high standard of hygiene.
Written By Maureen
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