Veterinary Services Department (VSD) of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MOFA) has taken steps to promote safe handling of meat at the various abattoirs.
Dr. Bashiru Boi Kikimoto, Head of Public of the Department, said the goal was to ensure that they operated under more hygienic conditions. In line with this, it had begun distributing to them white coats, wellington boots and surgical gloves. He told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in Kumasi that 10 of the certified abattoirs had already received their consignment. Dr. Boi Kikimoto said it was eager to make sure that meat consumed by the people was wholesome and free from contamination. The Department was prepared to go the extra mile to stop any unhealthy practices that posed danger to the safety of the consumer. He spoke of the need for meat business operators to accept the primary responsibility of upholding quality and safety standards. He also reminded veterinary officers to stick to best practices - desist from using their bare hands on animals before and after slaughtering. “No veterinary officer should use bare hands to treat or diagnose animals”, he added. Dr. Boi Kikimoto said there should be proper handling of live animals at both the pre-abattoir and meat produced at post-abattoir stages to assure consumer protection. Health and safety measures should not be focused exclusively on in-house abattoir operations. This, he said, was necessary since about 70 per cent of all human diseases emanated from animals. He underlined the determination of the VSD to play its supervisory role effectively to keep meat consumers safe.