Unwholesome meats, sources of many illnesses – Abattoir Director

Mr. Kwabena Osei-Boateng, Managing Director of the Accra Abattoir, has called for a comprehensive Meat Inspection Bill to regulate the operations of butchers in the country to curb the current mishandling of meat.

He described the current situation as dangerous and a threat to public health and attributed it to lack of legislative instrument to check operators in the industry in the handling and processing of quality meat products.

Other factors, he mentioned, were lack of basic personal hygiene attitude among the butchers themselves and laxity on the part of agencies responsible for the enforcement of the bye-laws governing sale of meat to the public.

Mr Osei Boateng made the call at the weekend when students of the Takoradi Polytechnic Hospitality Centre visited the Accra Abattoir to acquaint themselves with the processing of quality meat products from the kraal to the consumer kitchen.

He said research had shown that many illnesses resulting from the consumption of unwholesome meats were perhaps the most widely spread in the country.

The Abattoir boss told the students that meat products related diseases usually came from the markets, adding that there was the need for the National Security, Food and Drugs Board (FDB) as well as the district assemblies to pay serious attention to food security, meat handling and display by vendors in various market places.

He said most high rated hotels, restaurants, super-markets in the country does  not patronise the Accra Abattoir meat products, saying “yet our meat processing is the most hygienic and quality from the kraal to the consumer kitchen.

“Cheap meats are dangerous to human health,” he advised.

Mr Osei Boateng said the Abattoir was making everything possible to raise GH¢2.8 million from its shareholders to implement a strategic plan that would influence the entire value chain – from the farm-gate to the butchers table in various markets in the country.

He said it had become clear that relying solely on the slaughtering services for butchers to generate enough income was challenging to the Accra Abattoir.

Mr Osei Boateng said the strategy, which will get the company out of its present heavy indebtedness, was to complement the slaughtering services with the production of various types of meat products to sell to the public.

He said availability of working capital, ability to source live animals at a reasonable cost to produce meant and its products, professional training in meat processing and revival of an aggressive marketing and sales departments to focus purely on production, were some of the company’s plan.

A Veterinary Surgeon at the Accra Abattoir, Mr Okaikwei Adjaidoo sensitised the students on singeing with gas blow torch after slaughtering to maintain hygiene standard and practices of quality meat.

He advised the students to insist on taking Accra Abattor meats stamped with quality consumable edible ink in the various markets.

Mrs Adelaide Spio-Kwofie, a lecturer at the Hospitality Centre of the Takoradi Polytechnic, expressed regret that food vendors were unaware of the possible sources of food contamination, resulting from raw material acquisition, preparation and storage during sales and final delivery to the consumer.

She hoped that the students would take the sensitisation programme on quality meat processing seriously.

Source: GNA

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