Assessment Of Hygiene Of Meat Produced In Selected Local Slaughter Facilities In Somaliland
The hygiene of slaughter, in a broad sense, embraces a variety of considerations such as design, layout and maintenance of buildings, systems of control of Good Hygiene Practice (GHP), Sanitary Standard Operating Procedures (SSOP) concept and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) principles. These include inspection (AM and PM) and hygiene of personnel, equipments and structures as well as the level of dirt on livestock meant for slaughter, parasites and micro-organisms the meat contains. This study describes an analysis of levels of bacterial contamination and suspected risk factors associated with contamination of meat produced in five local slaughter facilities in the Somaliland state of the Republic of Somalia with the aim of making recommendations to improve production of quality meat without loading unrealistic costs and restrictions to operating slaughter facilities. The general objective of the study was to determine the level of contamination and microbial quality of meat produced by some Somaliland local slaughter facilities. Slaughter facilities under study were purposively selected for carcass sampling. A total of 80 samples were randomly taken from each of the five slaughter facilities by swabbing carcasses using wet cotton wool dipped in buffered peptone water in an area of 50 cm2 delineated by aluminium template. Swabbing in the same area was repeated with dry cotton wool. The samples were later analyzed for Total Viable Counts (TVC), presence of Salmonella spp, total coliforms and faecal E.coli. supervisors in all the five slaughter facilities. This was aimed at collecting data on slaughter practices in order to identify risk factors that influence meat contamination. Additionally, transect walks and observations were discretely carried out in order to detect some of the unclear issues that could not be identified through questionnaire administration. From the questionnaire and observations carried out during slaughter, Hargeisa local slaughter facility personnel and management applied minimum meat hygiene slaughter practices as compared to Berbera, Borama, Burao and Gabiley local slaughter facilities. The latter four were being managed by local authorities while Hargeisa local slaughter facility was being managed by a private company. Based on EU microbiological TVC levels performance criteria, 66% of carcasses sampled from Berbera local slaughter facility were of an unaccepted grade (>4.3 cfu/cnr') while 34% were of marginal grade (2.8-4.3 cfu/cnr'). Likewise, 31% of carcasses sampled from Burao local slaughter facility were of unacceptable grade, 58% were of marginal grade and 11% were of acceptable grade «2.8 cfu/cnr'). From Gabiley local slaughter facility, only 1% was of unacceptable grade, 30% were of marginal grade and 69% were of acceptable grade ofTVC levels. From Hargeisa local slaughter facility, only 5% of carcasses sampled were of marginal grade while 95% were of acceptable grade. Finally, 29% of carcasses sampled from Borama local slaughter facility were of marginal grade while 71% were of acceptable grade. All carcasses sampled from Hargeisa and Borama local slaughter facilities were of acceptable to moderate grades. Based on EU microbiological total coliforms performance criteria with regard to levels of Enterobacteriaceae, 25% of carcasses sampled from Berbera local slaughter facility were of unacceptable grade (> 1.8 cfu/cnr') while 59% were of marginal grade (0.8-1.8 cfu/crrr'), From Burao local slaughter facility, only 1% was of unacceptable grade while 5% were of marginal grade. All carcasses sampled from Gabiley, Borama and Hargeisa local slaughter facilities were of acceptable grade «0.8 cfu/cnr'). Of the 400 samples analyzed, 116 samples had faecal E. coli while none had Salmonella spp. It was observed that apart from Hargeisa local slaughter facility that was managed by a private company, all the other four slaughter facilities lacked the most basic facilities like stainless steel slaughter equipments, protective gear for personnel, adequate lighting, adequate potable water, well structured slaughter facilities management and proper waste and environmental management system. These factors presumably play a vital role in influencing the levels of meat contamination produced from these slaughter facilities. The study established that slaughter facilities of Berbera, Burao, Gabiley and Borama that were managed by local municipalities had high levels of carcass contaminations as compared to Hargeisa that was being managed by a private company. Therefore, in addition to providing adequate potable water, light among others, privatization appears to be the way forward for improved meat quality. The outcome of this study will serve as guidelines to set up the standards of hygiene for meat production in the five local slaughter facilities under investigation.