Kumasi, Dec. 2, GNA - Dr M. M. Adam, a Senior Veterinary Officer in-charge of Public Health and Food Hygiene, has called on the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly (KMA) to rigidly enforce its bylaws on meat handling to help bring about sanity in the meat industry in the metropolis.
He expressed concern about the poor and unhygienic manner in which meat was handled and transported by butchers in Kumasi to the various selling points.
Dr Adam was speaking at a day's stakeholders meeting on the importance of meat hygiene in Kumasi on Thursday.
The Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) organized the programme under the six-year livestock development project, which aims at ensuring food security and reduce meat importation into the country. The staff of MOFA, chop bar keepers, the police and assembly members attended the meeting.
Dr Adam pointed out that bad practices could render certified meat and meat products unwholesome and unsafe for human consumption. He said it was necessary to ensure best practices at all times "so that we do not put the lives of consumers at risk".
Dr John Tsitsiwu, Veterinary Epidemiologist, said there should be no compromise on the need for those handling meat for public consumption to be examined at the hospital and "be given a clean bill of health before he or she is permitted to carry out the business.
"Yearly renewal of such health certificates is needed to avoid the spread of deadly diseases".
Mr George Badu Yeboah, Metropolitan Director of Agriculture, earlier in a welcoming address, said the quality of food was determined by the methods of production, processing, storage and packaging among other things and therefore if the method at any stage was of high standard the quality of food would be good.
But if it is sub-standard, people stand the risk of eating contaminated or toxic food, which could be hazardous to life, he added.