Animal Science Association trains meat handlers in Edo
The Animal Science Association of Nigeria (ASAN), Edo State chapter has trained meat handlers on meat processing, packaging and storage in the state.
Declaring the one-day training opened, the Commissioner for Agriculture and Food Security, Stephen Idehenre, said poor handling of meat posed a serious threat to human health and the environment.
Idehenre noted that the collaboration of all stakeholders was needed through engagement such as, trainings and sensitisation campaign to address the issues.
“This is just the beginning of more engagements to come. We will continue to talk to meat handlers to prevent any outbreak of disease in the state,” he said.
Earlier, in his welcome address, the state chairman of ASAN, Peter Aikhuomobhgbe explained that the poor and unhygienic way meat was handled across abattoirs and markets in the state necessitated the training programme. He noted that the poor state of the abattoirs and the poor handling of meat was raising concerns among stakeholders about the attendant health risk.
“As animal scientist, we are worried about the unhealthy environment, transport system and the very poor way people handle meat. You will not like to eat meat if you go to our abattoirs. The way the meat is transported to the markets is another problem. So, the essence of this training is aimed at making meat wholesome,” he said.
According to him, as an association, their role is multi-disciplinary, one of which is to educate the people on how to handle, process, package and store meat.
In his lecture, titled: ‘Meat and Meat Products handling, preservation, processing, packaging and storage,’ Prof. John Igene, said proper meat handling is critical for the overall wellbeing of Nigerians.
Igene, who is an Emeritus professor of Research Innovation, Food and Technology, University of Benin, noted that poor meat handling and storage procedures often result in food poisoning, adding that food safety is the only way to secure lives.
“The quality of meat supplied to the general population may be affected by techniques used in handling and preserving the meat. In order to properly slaughter and process meat, it is imperative that the rural and urban abattoirs be built with qualified workers.
According to him, “we need to enhance public meat inspection, supply, standardise facility to maintain a high level of meat sanitation. The director of Animal Husbandry department, Eno Otamere noted that participants were drawn from livestock farmers, operators of abattoirs, poultry farmers and pig farmers among others.