By Yinka Padonu
The awry state of a number of Lagos abbatoirs leaves much to be desired.
A recent visit to the abbatoir popularly known as “Odo -eran” located between Cele-Oshodi Express is a typical example. The poor sanitation there is zero yet a greater percentage of meat consumed daily from that source is enormous.
The importance of ensuring safe meat handling and processing practices has been demonstrated in global reports on food safety scares and related illness and deaths. This necessitated stricter meat safety control strategies.
Today, many countries have regulated towards preventative and systematic control over safe meat processing at abattoirs utilizing the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles. HACCP systems have been reported as effective in managing food safety risks if correctly implemented.
South Africa has regulated the Hygiene Management System (HMS) based on HACCP principles
These systems were benchmarked from the United Kingdom (UK). Little research has been done since inception as of 2004.
Nigeria and Lagos State, in particular, must rise up to the occasion and give consideration to review either of the two systems, its implementation, and comparison with HACCP and see which will work best for us.
The Lagos Safety Commission should put its radar in this direction and put sanity into the Lagos abbatoirs.
We cannot afford to wait for an outbreak before action is taken to ensure Lagosians eat healthy meat.
We must be proactive. There must be strong sensitization on food safety to meat merchants. This is a call to all and sundry.
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