Oluwafemi R A, Edugbo O M, Solanke E O and Akinyeye A J
Animal protein is an important nutritional component which is required in the appropriate quality and quantity towards growth and development of humans and animals. Its shortages constitute a major problem especially in sub-Saharan Africa leading to unwholesome processing and marketing practices. Beef is the red flesh or meat obtained from bovines, especially domestic cattle after slaughter. It is one of the principal meats with wide acceptance in many parts of the World. However, beef is considered a taboo especially in Indian culture. In Nigeria, it has been severally reported that fresh carcasses are exposed to various unhygienic conditions during slaughtering and when leaving the abattoirs. The rate of microbiological contamination under such situation remains a serious health risk to the consuming public, yet this situation continues unabated. This health hazards also occurs during handling, processing, packaging and storage. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to highlight and identify areas that should be addressed to improve the quality of fresh beef at the retail point for human consumption. Then need for public awareness about proper and hygienic handling of meat from the abattoir to the retailer and the consumers were reiterated, bearing in mind the health implications of ingesting microorganism’s which could result in some food borne diseases like cancer, tuberculosis, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea among others, the result of which could be fatal. Bacteria enter the blood stream and spread through the body. Therefore it is of importance to maintain strict hygiene from pre-slaughter till the products gets to the consumer. Consumer protection in this review was considered the major priority before any other consideration. Considering the importance of this topic, the authors suggested that Government agencies and other stakeholders involved in meat/food safety regulations like the Veterinary Departments, Public health and hygiene Departments at the three tiers of Government as well as the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control should use their good offices to enforce strict compliance to standard food safety regulations. Government should ensure the provision of infrastructures and state of the art abattoirs across the Nation since healthy citizens builds a healthy Nation and a healthy Nation is a wealthy Nation.
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