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How to handle your sallah meat

In Nigeria, the most preferred option of sacrifice is ram or cow, depending on the individual’s financial strength. A scholar, Mallam Haruna told Home Front…

In Nigeria, the most preferred option of sacrifice is ram or cow, depending on the individual’s financial strength. A scholar, Mallam Haruna told Home Front that two or more people can sacrifice an animal as long as it is distributed equally amongst themselves after it has been slaughtered.
‘A cow, for example may be sacrificed by more than one person, and its meat distributed equally among its owners by weighing the meat strictly and not by mere estimate’.
Mallam Haruna further stated that a person offering the sacrifice may keep all the meat for his own use, but advised that it is most rewarding to distribute one-third among the poor, another one-third among his relatives and then, keep the rest for his personal consumption, as learnt from the teachings of the Holy Prophet.
He added that no part of the sacrificed animal can be sold, nor can be given to the butcher as a part payment for his services. The scholar also emphasized that, as long as the animal is for sacrifice, not even its skin should be sold as is the case with some people.
Preparation of Sallah meat is usually done in a ceremonious manner, as the quantity of the meat prepared is usually much which can be overwhelming to the persons preparing it. It can also mean preparing in a less healthy manner especially when the hands involved are many and proper kitchen etiquettes are not followed.
A nutritionist, Fatima Bamidele, who is based in Abuja explains that while ram meat is the most preferred choice of sacrifice for most Muslims, it contains high level of cholesterol, and adviced that it be consumed in small quantity.
She also said there is usually high risk of contamination when skinning the animal, and therefore called for proper hygiene to be maintained before starting.
The nutritionist warned that  proper kitchen hygiene must be observed before starting to work on the meat, which includes washing the hands properly with detergent and water to prevent any spread of bacteria to the meat.
She insisted that the utensils also must be washed properly before use, and after the meat has been cut, the blood should be washed off properly before it is put on fire.
“Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before and after handling raw meat. This prevents the spread of bacteria” she stated.
The nutritionist advised that the meat be cooked intensely, at a very high temperature to kill off bacteria and make it tender and soft, suitable for consumption.
She added that the meat may be cooked with garlic, onions, thyme, curry, and ginger powder  among others to spice it up and also to give it the desired aroma.
“All raw meat can carry harmful bacteria on the inside, it is important to properly cook the meat to kill the bacteria that can cause food poisoning,” she said.
Mrs Bamidele warned against eating too much meat, stating that meat contains saturated fat, which can be harmful to the body when consumed in excess, stating that, “It could clog your arteries, cause heart disease and bowel movement problems.”
She also said because most elderly people are prone to being hypertensive in the country, it is advisable for them to cut down on their consumption of red meat.

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