Florence Afriyie Mensah, GNA
Kumasi, May 16, GNA – The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has expressed worry about the insanitary conditions at the Kumasi abattoir and the unhygienic mode through which meat is transported to the public.
Mr. Anthony Akunzule, FAO Coordinator, Emergency Centre for Transboundary Animal Disease (ECTAD), said it was time authorities took immediate steps to address insanitary conditions at the abattoir to prevent the spread of diseases.
Speaking to journalists after a tour of the abattoir, Mr Akunzule also urged the management to transport the meat in cold vans to the marketing centres to ensure that consumers had quality meat at all times.
He said good environmental conditions and proper handling procedures were the surest way to provide wholesome and good quality meat products to the public.
The tour was part of an initiative by the Veterinary Services Department (VSD) to pay regular visits to slaughter houses to ensure that meat was prepared under hygienic conditions.
Dr Ayi Ayitey, Acting Director of VSD, said the Department with the support of the FAO, was training meat inspectors and butchers on proper handling of meat products at slaughter houses, adding that so far 60 of them had been trained in the sector.
He said it was worrying that some butchers did not go through the best practices to get quality meat on the markets for human consumption.
The training programme would help to ensure that animals were slaughtered in hygienic places to produce wholesome and quality meat to the public.
Dr Ayitey said the training programme involved procedures for moving animals from the farm gates to the slaughter house, quality assurance and best management practices at their work places.
He advised butchers to allow meat inspectors to inspect their meat before it got to the final consumers to prevent the spread of diseases such as Tuberculosis that was mostly found in cattle.
Mr. Joseph Owusu Boadi, The Managing Director, Kumasi Abattior, pledged to ensure that quality meat was produced for the public.
He called for the setting up of a laboratory at the abattoir to enhance practical work by the workers and students who came for practical studies.
Mr Boadi said the abattoir, which had staff strength of 140, slaughtered more than 300 cattle daily.