A video suggesting that the intake of sausage is inimical to the health of people, is crumbling the sausage industry in Ghana, producers have said.
According to the Ghana Association of Sausage Producers (GASP), since the erroneous information contained in the video went viral five months ago, some schools in the country had banned the intake of sausage in their menu.
Additionally, operators of food joints, especially the khebab sellers have reduced the purchase of sausage since consumers were no longer interested in its consumption.
The GASP had, therefore, called on government to treat the ongoing broadcast as a national issue, else the livelihood of about 1,500 workers would be destroyed.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic, the President of GASP, Mr Mekafui Segbawu, said since the video that sought to depict that sick and dead pigs were used in the production process of sausage went viral on the social media, the operations of the sausage industry in the country had reduced drastically, forcing the owners of the business to trim down their labour force.
“I own Spelding Foods at Achimota in Accra which employs about 63 people but as I speak to you, I have sent home 40 people because business has been bad. Our customers, especially the khebab boys are complaining that the sausages are not being purchased anymore,” he said.
Earlier this year, a video broadcast of how sausages were being produced in Ghana went viral in the social media.
The video, which was first aired on health issues on NET 2 TV, sought to demonstrate that the carcasses of dirty slaughtered pigs and other animals were used in the production of sausages.
The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), in a press statement, condemned the video, describing it as inaccurate and mischievous.
According to FDA, the video was a doctored clip meant to deliberately misinform Ghanaians about sausages.
Impact of the video
According to Mr Segbawu, the video had not only caused sales to drop severely, but was also creating fear and panic among consumers.
“As I speak to you, members of the Association have sent home more than half of their workers because they are running at a loss. Some of them are thinking of closing down,” he said.
Mr Segbawu said although the issue had been taken to the FDA, which had come out to discredit the video, the erroneous information still remained high as the alleged perpetrator of the video continued to misinform the public.
He said the material in question was an edited version of the manufacturing process of a foreign meat processing company and did not reflect the true and fair picture of how sausages were manufactured by GASP members.
A khebab seller at the Kasoa Market, Mr Eric Dojuma, said customers were no longer interested in buying the product because they claimed to have watched the video.
The situation, he said, had forced him and some of his colleagues to shift business from sausages to other meat products since the selling of sausages was not profitable anymore.