Health Implications of Sanitation in a Public Abattoir in Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Meat, a universal staple food item is gotten primarily from farm animals after slaughtering and preparation in abattoirs or slaughter houses. The slaughtering of animals in abattoirs or slaughter houses ensures the production of supervised, wholesome and healthy meat and meat products. There are pointers that this may not be the situation in all abattoirs in developing countries like Nigeria. The study was aimed at evaluating sanitary conditions and their attendant health implications at the Port-Harcourt abattoir.
Following ethical approval, this descriptive cross-sectional study started with a reconnaissance work through survey to the Port Harcourt abattoir. Thereafter, respondents were selected by stratified sampling with proportionate representation of all categories of operators in the calculated sample size of 74 respondents. Data were collected using structured self (and in some cases, interviewer) administered questionnaires and processed using Microsoft Excel package and presented in tables.
The study showed that the operators were mostly (100%) in agreement that infrastructure and processes like lairage, waste disposal, water, pest and animal inspection were either non-functional or below acceptable standards. The walk through (done with a checklist of the components of sanitation) further buttressed responses of the participants as the abattoir was lacking in hygiene, space, infrastructure and services.
CONCLUSIONThis abattoir is lacking in infrastructure and operation as attested to by the operators and the walk through. There is the need to upgrade facilities at the slaughter house. In addition health education of the operators on modern, more hygienic and safer abattoir practices is advocated
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