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Aims: To determine the materials used in singeing meat, reasons for their use and knowledge of the health and environmental effects of using old tyres in meat singeing by butchers in Uyo, Nigeria.
Study Design: The study used a descriptive cross-sectional study design.
Place and Duration of Study: Uyo capital city territory, Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria from August 1st to 30th, 2019.
Methodology: We recruited 42 butchers (all males; mean age 25+/-6 years) from an abattoir, 2 slaughter slabs and meat processing sites on 2 major streets in Uyo capital city territory. Data collection was done using interviewer administered questionnaires and interview guide. Data was analyzed with Stata statistical software version 10.0.
Results: The major singeing materials for goat hides were plastics 19 (45.2%) and old tyres 10 (23.8%) while firewood 13 (31.0%) was used for cattle hides. Reasons for preference of singeing materials were: old tyres burn fast 10 (100.0%), cheaper than firewood 10 (100.0%) and left no cracks on hides 10 (100.0%); Plastics were available 17 (89.5%), longer duration of flame 16 (84.2%) and the cheapest 15 (78.9%) compared to tyres and firewood while firewood was preferred because it burnt slowly. Twenty five butchers (59.5%) had poor knowledge of the effect of use of old tires in singeing on health and environment. Reported symptoms associated with singeing were cough 17 (56.7%), dizziness 16 (53.3%) and itchy eyes 14 (46.7%). Key informant interview revealed that number of animals singed, duration of flame and cost of singeing material were the major determinants of the type of singeing materials used.
Conclusion: Plastics, old tyres and firewood were mainly used by butchers in singeing hides. Poor level of knowledge of effects of use of old tires in singeing was seen. Capacity building of butchers and ban of use of these materials is recommended.
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