Food and health go hand in hand. As more Kenyans continue being conscious of what they eat, there are a few things farmers must get right to ensure their products they send to the market are free of chemicals and toxins. Here is our guide for the week.
Poor use of pesticides and herbicites
All pesticides abd herbicides have recommended withdrawal periods with effect from the last date of application. Don’t sell your products before this period is successfully completed. When farmers fail to observe this rule, they expose consumers to the chemicals.
Slaughter of uninspected animals
When animals die suddenly for unexplained reasons, they should be destroyed, not consumed. Don’t be tempted to slaughter such animals. We have all heardcabout situations where people died because of consiming infected meat. You don’t want to be in such a situation. Failure to bury carcasses Failure to buryvthe bodies of diseased animals 6 feet under allows diseases to spread to humans through soil contamination and vectors. Skinning dead animals and using their hides and skins also spreads disease agents like anthrax to humans.
Failure to vaccinate
Failure to vaccinate animals allows diseases like rabies, rift valley fever, anthrax and zoonotic diseases like TB, Salmonellosis, Rift valley fever, Avian influenza and echinoccus to spread to humans from milk or meat of these animals. Always be close to your vet.
Excess use of antibiotics
According to the Kenya Dairy Board’s quality survey report, a significant amount of milk contains a high bacterial load of up to 10 million per mililiter of milk. The acceptable level is 2 million per millitre. Futhermore, detergents, disinfectants, pesticides, mycotoxins, formalin, hydrogen peroxide and wheat flour have been discovered in milk. As much as you might not know who your consumer is, it pays being cautious and going the extra mille in ensuring what you send to the market if free of toxins.
Failure to disinfect soils
Failure to disinfect soils that have been contaminated for whatever reason (for example by industrial effluent or raw sewage) allows diseases to spread. Such soils should not be used to grow crops until inspected and certified as safe.
Careless handling of animal and plant products leads to contamination of food with a high bacterial load. Examples of poor hygiene include washing for instance milking equipment with untreated water and your hands before milking. Poor storage.