An investigation on the shady business of Suya and meat sellers.
There is scarcely any household in Nigeria that does not have parents that provide family dinner with roasted chicken or beef, also known as Suya. Suya is mostly a night-time operation, and it is commonly served with onion, tomato, and pepper, however some go so far as to serve the roasted skewered meat with fried corn flour, also known as ‘masa.’ Suya, has become a large business over the years, mostly derived from cows and founded by northerners but now enjoyed by all, as patronage at Suya places by Nigerians across the country is considered as the new normal, while others refer to it as ‘the new fast food.’
Meanwhile, an investigation has shown the unscrupulous business practices of these Suya or meat dealers, namely how deceased animals are purchased, skinned, fully seasoned, skewered, and sold to unsuspecting Nigerians for food. This tragic practice is what caused tangible tension in Umueze, Umuakanu town in Umuahia North Local Government Area of Abia State, around a year ago, after seven members from the same family died after eating the famed Suya BBQ. It could also explain why four of seven youngsters died in Abia State after supposedly consuming Suya. Even more alarming, these deaths occurred after the Federal Government passed the Meat Hygienic Act, which aimed to control the operations of abattoirs in the country.
Many Nigerians don’t care about the source of the meat they buy in markets.
Using the Karu, Abuja abattoir as a case study, it was confirmed that, contrary to the general principle of inspecting and certifying all animals meant to be slaughtered, some of those usually brought in and butchered, as observed during a visit, are not thoroughly checked before and after being killed, despite the fact that of a veterinary doctor stationed at the facility. Indeed, investigations have revealed that some infectious diseases afflicting Nigerians may be traced back to unsanitary meat processing practices at abattoirs. But, as profitable as the beef business is, it also has drawbacks, given the slew of difficulties associated with getting animals from sellers to abattoirs and, finally, to consumers’ dinner tables.
As per the findings, the majority of Nigerians are unconcerned about the origin of the meat they buy in markets or at Suya establishments, nor are they concerned about the cooked or fried meat they buy from food sellers. The failure to ensure that defined standards are met in the meat processing process has resulted in a vicious cycle of selling dead animal products and growing zoonoses penetration into homes, leaving society vulnerable. While some Suya vendors stick to their guns, others prefer dead cows, chickens, and goats, among other animals, to cook their delights because they are less expensive than live ones. Further inquiry indicated that some of these animals, which typically die as a result of underlying diseases, are usually stacked outside abattoirs and sold to Suya merchants and other meat vendors who are interested.
Not every cow that dies gets buried. It may be sold cheaper.
According to some butchers in Karu, when cows die in the abattoir, they are not always buried; some are preserved, taken out later, and sold cheaper to Suya sellers or other purchasers in need of beef. According to John Tama (not his real name), who claims to work in the abattoir, selling meat from dead animals is not unique to them, but is also observed in other abattoirs surrounding Abuja and in other states across the country. Although the business is not popular, he claims it is very profitable because dead cows, among other animals, are acquired on a regular basis, attracting what he calls cool money, adding that it is a business of choice.
Another abattoir worker, who appeared to have in-depth knowledge of the meat black market, told our reporter that many abattoirs around the country lacked health care professionals and veterinary doctors to determine the health status of cows and other animals butchered for sale to the public. According to him, the sale of dead and sick animals had gone overlooked due to a lack of health personnel. Even if there are health officials, he claims that the processing, cleanliness, slaughtering, handling, and movement of meat fall short of norms.
Anyone who sells dead livestock should be punished.
Experts also stated that efforts to stop the spread of zoonosis may continue to fail because private persons and organizations benefiting from the industry may make it impossible for the government to succeed. Akpem Terese Shadrach, a veterinary doctor and the founder of Mobovet Nigeria Limited, Vet Konect, has urged the government to pass legislation that will allow livestock producers to get economic compensation if their animals are lost. Farouk Rabiu Mudi, President of the All-Farmers Association, also spoke out against the sale of beef from deceased livestock, threatening to punish anyone involved. He urged the government to form committees and task forces to oversee meat processing in Nigerian abattoirs.
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The facts still remains that our government are less concern about this, Nigerian are not bordered about the kinds of meat they buy in the market. It is not surprising that people dies from eating suya because the hygienic condition from which this meat is coming from is not fit for eating.
This has been happening for long do we truly know the type of meat or process of the meat used for suya no but trust we keep buying,eating and consuming in large quantities with belief that nothing will happen,that’s my country for you.
We should try out best to ensuee we protect ourselves from poisonous or toxic food. How will a sane person be selling suya from cows that have died. It is uncalled for. The culprits involve in all of this should be arrested and incarcerated.
Some of the diseases that affect Nigerians can be avoided if proper things is done but very unfortunate that people assigned to do this jobs so as to curb this diseases will not do there job properly because of corruption.
The preparation of this suya by the sellers at times is not hygienic and as such could lead to food poisoning. It is not a surprise either that some people died as a result of consuming the Suya.
An investigation on the shady business of Suya and meat sellers. This sellers need prepare investigation something for those selling bad meat
This Roasted chicken or beef is a staple in almost every Nigerian family’s weekly meal routine and this shows how important it is.
Nigerians from all over the country frequent Suya restaurants, proving that the industry has expanded greatly over the years. Suya’s origins are in the north, but the dish is now popular throughout the country.
According to the results of the inquiry, these Suya, or meat sellers, buy dead animals, skin them, season them thoroughly, and then skewer them before selling them to unsuspecting Nigerians.
Despite its evident financial success, the beef industry is not without its share of challenges, not the least of which is the lengthy journey its products must take from the farm to the butcher to the table.
Investigations have shown that some of the infectious diseases that are plaguing the Nigerian population may have their origins in the unsanitary processing of meat that takes place in abattoirs.
It was observed during a visit that, despite having a veterinary doctor on staff, not all of the animals that are typically brought in for butchering are given a thorough check before and after they are killed.
Inquiries revealed that when these animals die of underlying ailments, they are often stacked outside of abattoirs and sold to Suya merchants and other meat vendors.
We must stand firmly against the trade in beef from slaughtered animals and threaten those who do so with legal repercussions. Specifically, the government establish oversight committees and task forces for all Nigerian abattoirs.
The reality of the situation is that our government does not place a high priority on this issue, and citizens of Nigeria are not restricted in the types of meat they can purchase from the market.
It’s unfortunate that those tasked with preventing the spread of diseases that disproportionately affect Nigerians are unlikely to do their jobs properly due to corruption.
It is not a surprise people die from the consumption of suya because the hygienic condition of the meat used for suya is bad and not advisable for consumption.
Care should be taking we are dealing with health issue which some people have die from the kind of meat that will be selling or make as suya should be check well not to just be killing any animal for people to consume
It is imperative that we take a firm stance against the sale of beef from slaughtered animals and threaten those who engage in this practice with legal repercussions. The Nigerian government should create committees and task groups to monitor the country’s abattoirs.
It didn’t come as a shock that a vast majority of suya sellers, purchase dead animals for their business. As much as suya is loved by almost everyone, it’s one of the most unhygienic food out there. We should endeavor to be careful if you must eat it
According to the research, the majority of Nigerians don’t care where the meat they buy at markets or Suya restaurants comes from or whether it was grilled or fried before they bought it. Everyone need to be careful