Bolgatanga, Butchers at the Bolgatanga Abattoir are working under poor sanitary conditions with dressed meat being laid out on the floor in an insanitary environment.
A visit to the abattoir on a market day, by the Ghana News Agency, showed that the working slabs and floor of the busy abattoir were in a bad state while the torn window nets gave the flies access to the meat.
At the outer slabs designated for slaughtering and dressing of small ruminants, the attendants used dirty water gathered on the floor for washing the meat before it is sold to the public.
Mr Tindaanzor Kolog, the head of butchers, attributed the poor sanitary conditions at the abattoir to irregular supply of water saying they had flowing water twice in a week.
He said the butchers usually bought water in basins whenever supply is stopped, to wash the meat.
Mr Kolog said irregular cleaning of the place especially at the weekends was affecting work at the facility and said several pleas have been made to the Municipal Assembly for the assigned sanitary workers to clean the place regularly but they have failed to do that.
He said the Municipal Assembly was supposed to supply the abattoir with a water tank for storage but several appeals to the Assembly has also yielded no results.
Showing the reporter a water bill of GH600.00 from the Ghana Water Company, Mr Kolog said the butchers paid their bills regularly but the water supply was not reliable and they had no storage facility to store water.
The chief butcher said in worst situations butchers combined forces to sweep, pick litter and wash the rooms which according to him was not right especially when the same hands went back to touch meat.
Mr Eric Agongo, the Veterinary Officer in charge of the slaughter house, expressed concern about the conditions at the abattoir and said there were times they had to buy water to wash their hands before inspecting meat.
Mr Agongo said the Veterinary team was vigilant and carried out regular inspection of the meat to ensure that unwholesome meat did not go to the market and noted that any meat that was suspected to be unwholesome was condemned and destroyed.
He said lack of space and few working slabs inside the abattoir also contributed to overcrowding and that forced some of the butchers to sell their meat outside thereby exposing it to flies and dust.
Mr Moses Osman, the revenue collector of the Municipal Assembly stationed at the abattoir, said the butchers were not regular at paying taxes on the animals they slaughtered, cattle attracted GH2.00 each while for smaller ruminants GH1.00 is paid.
Source: Ghana News Agency