KNOWLEDGE AND PERCEPTION OF FARMERS IN TEMA METROPOLIS, GHANA ON MICROBIOLOGICAL MEAT SAFETY, ANTIBIOTIC RESISTANCE AND ANTIBIOTIC RESIDUES
Farmers play an important role in meat, introducing antibiotic-resistant microorganisms and antibiotic residues. This study assessed farmers’ knowledge and perception of microbiological meat safety, antibiotic resistance, and antibiotic residues. A total of 138 farmers were randomly interviewed. Data collected were analyzed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences, and results were presented in tables and figures. Almost 99% of the farmers were men, and most were between the ages of 41-60 (59%) years. The farmers (49%) had more than 10 years of experience in farming, and COVID-19 negatively affected (61%) their farming operations, especially in terms of feed costs (52%). The farmers were aware of microbiological meat safety (67%) and heard about it mostly from extension officers (67%). The majority of the farmers (63%) knew that animals carry bacteria in/on them and these bacteria can be transferred onto meats and cause foodborne diseases. The farmers heard about antibiotic resistance (69%) from extension officers (53%) and had ever used antibiotics for the treatment of sick animals (45%), as growth promoters (35%) and as prophylactics (12%). Most (63%) of the farmers had not heard about antibiotic residues, and those who had heard about antibiotic residues heard of it from veterinary officers (45%), extension officers (41%) and the media (14%). The majority of the farmers had heard about microbiological meat safety and antibiotic resistance, but few had heard about antibiotic residues. Education of farmers on antibiotic residues is recommended.
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