‘Consumers of imported chicken risk kidney disease, others’
SCIENTISTS have discovered that individuals who consume high amount of imported poultry meat especially chicken and turkey are at risk of kidney diseases, food borne diseases like typhoid and if care is not taken it could lead to death.
The scientists say they have been able to link the isolation of Salmonelia spp with imported poultry meat, which is a leading cause of death among those with high consumption of smuggled poultry meat.
They confirmed that these bacteria can provoke a number of symptoms of disease within 72 hours of exposure and could last four to seven days, necessitating hospital admission in some cases.
They affirmed: “Infection with Salmonella spp could be life- threatening, especially to those with weak immune systems such as infants and the elderly. Chronic exposure to the bacteria could result in arthritic symptoms.”
The National President, Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN) Dr. Ayoola Oduntan, who disclosed this at a workshop on “the Economic and Health Implications of Smuggled Poultry Product,” said that while locally-farmed poultry meat is sold without any preservatives, the smuggled poultry meat is preserved with hazardous chemicals.
“Formalin load in all smuggled poultry products ranges from 42.9 to 63.3ml/kg, according to survey.
Improperly imported poultry products pose grave dangers to consumers, handlers and environment. The break in cold chains during smuggling encourages a build-up of high microbial load, rendering such consignments unhealthy and unfit for human consumption.”
Oduntan while canvassing that locally produced chickens are safe for consumption, said locally-farmed poultry meat is sold without any preservatives unlike the smuggled poultry meat which is preserved with hazardous chemicals that portend serious danger to the consumers as some of the chemicals are known to be carcinogenic.
On the economic implication of smuggling of frozen chickens, Oduntan stated that about one million jobs will be created if government manages to reduce smuggling by just 30 per cent.
He noted that to fully utilise the balance of the industry’s installed capacity of additional 350,000 metric tonnes will translate to significant benefits through more job creation in form of 350,000 new jobs in maize production, 75,000 new jobs in processing and 500,000 new jobs in ancillary raw materials, products and services.