School of Health Technology

Health Implications of Roasted Meat with Automobile Tyres

Health Implications of Roasted Meat with Automobile Tyres



1.1   Introduction

Meat is a food material, which is composed mainly of proteins, fat and some important essential elements and is necessary for growth and maintenance of good health. Goat, cow, sheep, pig, dog, chicken, meat etc are considered as the red meat produced by the domestic animals. It is commonly and mostly consumed meat all over the world by the people because of its high protein and iron level (Michael, 2017).

In Nigeria and in several other African countries, roasting in an open fire is the major process by which hair on the skin of slaughtered goats is removed (Alo and Olanipekun, 2016). This is because roasting maintains the carcass hide for consumption and also evokes flavours in the meat which are acceptable to the consumer. According to them, roasting is done mainly by the use of firewood as fuel, but the relative scarcity of firewood in recent times has resulted in local butchers using scrap car tyre in place of firewood. Tyres are believed to contain toxic materials which could contaminate the environment.

US Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (2012) revealed that “tyre derived fuel” (TDF) contained several heavy metals such as lead (Pd), zinc (Zn), and Copper (Cu) that could be carcinogenic when exposed to consumers over a long period. Research also revealed high levels of heavy metal residues in goat and cattle hides roasted with scrap tyres, which made them unsafe for consumption (Antwi-Agyei and Obiri-Danso, 2012).

According to Braide and Dibofori-orji (2011), traditionally, roasting proceeds in open fire using firewood as fuel, but the relative scarcity of firewood lately has resulted in local butchers using scrap tyres as alternative source of fuel to roast slaughtered livestock. The practice, though unconventional and potentially dangerous, is increasingly favoured by local butchers; reasons being that fire from the scrap tyres is able to selectively burn off the animal fur without cracking the hide. Duruibe, Ogwuegbu and Egwurugwu (2014) posited that, many local butchers in Nigeria have been using scrap tyres as substitute for firewood to roast slaughtered ruminants. The burning of the hide is done under uncontrolled fires (i.e., open fires, not regulated) and lacks legislative measures, which is typical for poor households in developing countries such as Nigeria. There is also the possibility of a catastrophic fire occurring because of the large quantities of petroleum and other chemicals in tyres. A burning tyre creates thick, black, toxic smoke as well as large discharges of environmental pollutants (Essumang, 2012).

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In view of the fact that tyres contain many potentially harmful substances, singed treatment with scrap tyres imposes enormous risk of deposition of toxic elements and compounds into the animal hide, which could significantly compromise meat quality (Kurt, 2013). Furthermore, tyre being non-biodegradable combustible material, when burnt under open and uncontrolled fire conditions as low temperatures produces black plumes of smoke as well as toxic volatilization products such as soot, which become incorporated into the ambient environment and causes air and water pollution as well as result in human and environmental hazard (FAO, 2015). In addition, large amounts of greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere. Dioxin does not breakdown; it accumulates in the fatty tissues of animals and humans that consume the contaminated vegetation, meats, chickens and dairy products. In humans, these Dioxins can lead to productive impairments, development of injuries and an increase in the risk of diabetes (Leita and Enne, 2011).

According to Essumang (2012), the risk of heavy metal contamination in meat therefore is of great concern for both food safety and human health because of the toxic nature of these metals at relatively minute concentrations. In this case, continuous consumption of such potentially contaminated meat product poses a great source of health risk. The environmental pollution caused by the burning of tyres is a matter of great concern worldwide, and consequently contamination of the food chain is getting increasingly important in view of its role in human health and nutrition. As such, there is need to curb this menace (Mohammad and Seyyed, 2012).

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1.2   Statement of the Problem

The growing population and incomes, along with changing food preferences are increasing the demand for livestock products (FAO, 2015). In Nigeria, roasting practices predominantly used in the processing of slaughtered livestock include, the use of fire fueled by scrap tyres, firewood or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to remove animal fur.

In Nigeria, despite the efforts of the Food and Drugs Agency which provides guidelines for the regulation of livestock products and also the presence of bye-laws in all Metropolis, to govern the production of meat in their respective slaughter houses, unhealthy practices such as animal roasting with vehicle scrap tyres, is still being exploited as a meat processing technique. In the light of the above, the researcher is motivated to conduct a study on the health implication of roasting meat with automobile tyres in Uyo Metropolis.

1.3   Significant of the Study

It is hoped that the findings of this work will assist in identifying those factors that make the people to choose automobile tyre as a better option in roasting meat.

Findings of this work will serve as a baseline data for health planners in Government of Akwa Ibom State and Uyo Local Government in their collaborative efforts on meat hygiene and safety. It will also expose the impact of roasted meat with automobile tyres on health.

In academics, this work will serve as reference material to professionals and other researchers who may venture into this area of study.

1.4   Broad Objective

The broad objective of this study is to examine the health implication of roasted meat with automobile tyres in Uyo Metropolis.


1.5   Specific Objectives

Specifically, the study aims at achieving the following objectives:

  • To identify reasons for preference of automobile tyre for roasting meat.
  • To examine the different types of methods used in roasting meat.
  • To determine the effects of using automobile tyre for roasting meat on health.
  • To identify measures for adoption in processing meat for consumption.

1.6   Research Questions

  • What are the reasons for preferring automobile tyre for roasting meat?
  • What are the different types of methods used in processing meat?
  • What are the effects of roasting meat with automobile tyre on health?
  • Which measures/methods could be adopted in processing meat for consumption?
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1.7   Justification of the Study

Roasting with scrap tyres poses a health challenge as well as an environmental hazard. This deserves not only the attention of the Metropolitan Assembly and the Environmental protection institutions but also concerns of Health institutions and individuals to find a lasting solution to the problem. This is because, vital human resource could be lost through poor health associated with its effects and environmental pollution. The present study, therefore intended to investigate the health implications of roasted meat with automobile tyres. The results of the present study would therefore contribute to the understanding of the danger to health posed by the use of vehicle scrap tyres for roasting.

1.8   Scope of the Study

The study centers on health implications of roasted meat with automobile tyres. Meat processors would be interviewed about slaughter practices and points where processed meat were sold and reasons for automobile tyre as a source of fire for roasting of animal fur during meat processing. The study will be delimited to Uyo Metropolis.


1.9   Definition of Terms

Health: Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing of an individual and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.

Implication: Is the conclusion that can be drawn from something although it is not explicitly stated; a possible future effect or result.

Automobile Tyre: A tyre is a ring-shaped component that surrounds a wheel’s rim to transfer a vehicle’s load from the axle through the wheel to the ground and to provide traction on the surface traveled over.

Roasting: Roasting is a cooking method that uses dry heat where hot air envelops the food, cooking it evenly on all sides with temperatures of at least 150 °C (~300 °F) from an open flame, oven, or other heat source.

Meat: This is the flesh of an animal that is considered edible, especially that of a mammal or bird.

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