Biology Reference
In-Depth Information
It was observed in African countries such as Ghana and Senegal that fi sh
may be held under the foot on the ground during dressing. This practice
can cause microbial contamination of the fi sh and injury to the processor
either from the spines of the fi sh or by the knife (Essuman, 1992).
This is a very essential stage in fi sh processing. In most of the processing
sites potable water is often not available. Therefore, water from lagoons,
rivers, lakes or seas is used to wash the fi sh. These water bodies are often
polluted by domestic waste, making them a possible source of chemical
and microbial poisoning (Essuman, 1992).
The non-use of salt results in uncontrolled fermentation. Under such
conditions, the fi sh muscle becomes ideal for the growth of pathogenic
organisms and the product may decay within a short period. Such products
could pose a health hazard to consumers. The reuse of salt may also
lead to contamination of fresh batches of fi sh with microorganisms
(Essuman, 1992).
It is generally observed that fi sh is often dried on the ground except in
commercial practices where raised drying racks are used. Drying fi sh on
the ground is a source of contamination with sand and microorganisms
(UNIFEM, 1988).
Waste Disposal
At most of the processing sites in the countries of the survey, and indeed
in many other African countries, there are no effi cient ways of disposing
the offal and other waste matter. These items are indiscriminately thrown
away, thus polluting the environment and the available water body as
well as serving as suitable breeding grounds for fl ies and mites which
eventually infest the cured fi shery product (Essuman, 1992).
Salt Quality
Solar salt which is predominantly used for curing is often dirty and stored
in heaps or in sacks on the bare ground without being covered. Solar salt is
a major source of halophilic bacteria which causes poor quality fermented
fi shery products notably “pink” (Brennan, 2006).
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