By Amer Malik
LAHORE: Doctors have advised people against immediate cooking and improper preservation of meat of sacrificial animals during the Eid-ul-Azha to avoid infectious and fatal diseases among people, especially patients with diabetes, liver, renal, kidney, cardiac, hepatitis and high blood pressure complications.
The doctors have stressed moderation in eating meat of sacrificial animals on Eid-ul-Azha, so as to keep health of all family members in perfect condition. They, however, said meat of sacrificial animals, which is the purest as compared with mutton or beef available in markets throughout the year, was usually full of nutrition, hence, curing most of the diseases and was good for health, if eaten in moderation.
Talking to The News, Dr Zafar Iqbal, Professor of Medicine and Gastroenterologist in the Sheikh Zayed Hospital, Lahore, said people, particularly those having the heart and hepatitis diseases, should carefully use the meat of sacrificial animals, which could otherwise prove harmful to them.
He prohibited the people from immediately cooking meat of sacrificial animals soon after slaughtering, saying it could cause infectious diseases, which could affect one’s lungs, stomach and cause high fever. He advised people to keep the meat of sacrificial animals at least for six hours in open air for its proper dehydration of blood and moisture before cooking or placing it in deep freezer.
Dr Zafar said meat should be properly cooked, as half-baked meat could cause infectious diseases, including fever, typhoid and stomach diseases. During barbecue, he said, people should be particularly conscious, as meat in most of the cases remained uncooked at its centre where there was concentration of germs, which could cause typhoid.
“Meat overdose can be dangerous for people with liver disorders as well as patients of hepatitis and jaundice,” he said, adding that extra intake of meat could increase blood circulation to stomach among cardiac patients and result in ischemic heart diseases.
“Diabetic patients should avoid more meat as sacrificial animals’ fats contain nine caloric/grams and the sugar level can shoot up,” he said.
He added that people should be careful while defrosting frozen meat, which should be put in lukewarm at least for six hours and kept in microwave oven for 45 minutes to kill germs within the frosted meat to avoid diseases.
Dr Shahid Malik from the Institute of Public Health, Lahore, said that during the Eid-ul-Azha, meat of animals, including goat, cow, sheep and camel, which is known as red meat, was eaten in abundance. He said red meat was rich in high biological value (HBV) protein.
Dr Shehla Akram, a nutritionist, said both mutton and beef were A-class protein providers and high in nutritional value. She said the importance of meat could not be denied, adding that animal protein should form at least 18 to 20 per cent of our diet, which improved the hemoglobin level and strengthened muscles of body.
Dr Naveed Akhtar, a lecturer in the Meat Technology at the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Lahore, said meat was a complete medium for microorganisms, so it was a precious diet for human consumption. “After sacrifice, meat should be kept at a cool place before freezing, because it undergoes rigor mortis phenomenon after slaughtering.
This phenomenon does not complete at freezing temperature and meat becomes rigid,” he said and added that repeated freezing and thawing for cooking should be avoided. Dr Akhtar said meat could be stored in freezers for a long time but it would lose the water present in it called wheep or drip in meat terminology, which changed its flavour.
Dr Babar Sabzwari, a dental specialist, advised people to brush their teeth after every meal to remove meat particles entangled within their teeth. “The use of dental floss or thread is advisable to remove meat particles within teeth,” he said.
Council for Herbal Physicians Secretary-General Hakim MA Khalid said camel meat cured fever, pain, hepatitis-C and urine diseases and also served as a general tonic for the neurological weakness of human body.