Health hazards associated with ready-to-eat-meat in Nigeria: A call for public concern and critical interventions

  • Earnest Oghenesuvwe Erhirhie Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, Nigeria.
  • Chuka Nwosu National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control Zonal Laboratory, Agulu, Anaocha, Anambra State, Nigeria.
  • Tedwin Joseph O. Emudainohwo Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria.
  • Chidimma Chukwunwejim
  • Peter Eze Department of Environmental Health Science, Faculty of Health Sciences and Technology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi campus, Anambra State. Nigeria.
  • Daniel Ajaghaku Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Enugu State University of Science and Technology, Enugu State, Nigeria
Keywords: RTE meat, safety, microbiological contamination, chemical contamination, Nigeria


Scientific investigations on ready-to-eat meat (RTEM), popularly called Suya, sold in Nigeria are generating several public concerns due to microbial and chemical hazards associated with such products. This review evaluated the safety profile of Nigerian RTEM, with special focus on “Suya” as a potential source of microbial, heavy metal, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) food hazard. Assessments of outcomes of research articles on safety of RTEM published from 1984 to 2019 were carried out using electronic databases and key words. Research outcomes were categorized into six sections representing the six geopolitical zones (South-south, South-east, South-west, North-east, North-West and North-central) of Nigeria. Virtually all research findings in various zones revealed microbial, heavy metal or PAHs levels on RTEM were below acceptable standards. Unhygienic activities of most meat slaughterers (source of raw meat), processors (preparation and packaging of RTEM) and vendors (display and hawking process) were major contributing factors to microbial and chemical hazards. To this end, adequate safety and sanitary measures suggested and other essentials should be implemented by designated authorities and relevant stakeholders in ensuring the menace posed by unhygienic RTEM is curtailed drastically. 

How to Cite
Erhirhie, E., Nwosu, C., Emudainohwo, T., Chukwunwejim, C., Eze, P., & Ajaghaku, D. (2020). Health hazards associated with ready-to-eat-meat in Nigeria: A call for public concern and critical interventions. Scientific Journal "Meat Technology", 61(2), 129-144.
Review paper