The Food and Drugs Board (FDB) in collaboration with the Public Health Department of the Accra Metropolitan Assembly (AMA), have put in place stringent measures to ensure proper hygiene and sanitation at all the markets in Accra.
The measure would also ensure that butchers observe basic hygiene in meat handling and good sanitation.
Dr Simpson Anim Boateng, AMA Director of Public Health, who made this known at a meeting with members of the Ghana Cooperative Butchers Association on Tuesday, said, under the programme, the association would be required to submits a list of its members for the issuance of licenses.
The Director was speaking on the topic “Meat Hygiene Education in Markets”
He said the licenses would be displayed publicly for easy identification, and that they would have to obtain a clearance from the AMA and FDB.
“All butchers would have to comply with the rules and regulations involved in the handling of meat”.
Dr Boateng said the AMA and FDB taskforce would embark on an inspection in all markets in Accra to ensure that the butchers comply with basic rules of hygiene.
He appealed to the butchers to stop the current unhealthy practices associated with meat handling, distribution and sales “to the unsuspecting public, which exposes them to various diseases.
Mr James Aryeetey, Chief Environmental Health Officer, told the butchers that, the law against rearing of animals, especially cattle within the metropolis would be strictly enforced and ordered the sub-metros to arrest and prosecute offenders.
He said government recognized the role butchers play in the society, hence the need for them “to adjust themselves positively to the present social-economic situation to ensure that meat sold to the public was not contaminated”.
Alhaji Sofo Zakari, National Chief Butcher, welcomed the issuance of butchers' licenses, which he said would help flush out the fake ones among them.
He said since his office is charged to protect the interest of butchers in the country, he would ensure that illegal slaughtering of animals anywhere, instead of the recognised abattoirs was discouraged and urged the AMA to arrest and prosecute those found committing the act.