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Nigeria: Abia state govt introduces safe meat-handling policy

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In order to achieve food and nutrition security through food safety measure, the Abia State Government says it has approved a new policy that is aimed at promoting safe meat handling in the state.

Chief Uzo Azubuike, the Abia Commissioner for Agriculture made this known on Wednesday during an interview with newsmen in Umuahia.

Azubuike said the policy would allow the state government to penalize people that exposed meat meant for public consumption to unsanitary conditions, especially when transporting it.

He urged meat sellers to utilize the approved meat bags which had been specifically designed for the storage and transportation of meat from abattoirs either to the market or elsewhere. Azubuike said each of the bags cost N200 and could be used to package any size of meat, even a whole cow.

He described the Safe Meat-handling policy as an issue of public health which should not be politicised because it would help to increase good knowledge and safe meat handling.

“Our interest is focused on protecting public health because the state government is saddled with the responsibility of promoting the welfare of Abia people.

“We are disgusted with the way and manner meat is handled. People put lumps of meat on public transportation and in most cases part of the meat is dragged along the road.

“This is very unhygienic and very hazardous to the health of the public, which is why we want to ensure that nobody would move a large quantity of meat without covering it,” Azubuike said.