There are just no plain ways of determining a ‘good or bad’ Suya snack by mere sighting.
However, the following tips may help in determining whether a Suya snack is good for consumption or otherwise.
Do the meat-snack producers maintain basic Hygiene?
Let’s fall back to NAFDAC’s slogan: ‘shine your eyes!’ So watch out for vendors whose physical appearance doesn’t suggest that they keep the basic personal hygiene.
This category of ‘cooks’ often wear dirty and fathered cloths which they often use as ‘handkerchief’ to wipe their hands before cutting their meat for customers.
For instance, they station their joints near public toilets, refuge sites or water channels.
To safe guard your health, it’s best avoided.
Patronage Tips: You may queue at any Suya spot where the attendants’ physical appearance is neat and they maintain clean working environment.
Features to note are: netted areas, tiled counters or stainless work table, clean utensils, standard packaging, e.g snack display showcase and etc.
Are the Meat-Snacks Openly Displayed?
Vendors hawking ‘Suya’ or any kinds of ‘meat-snack’ on the streets or parks, especially openly displayed meat either in basins, trays, or wheel barrows is risky.
The amounts of bacteria gathered by these kinds of meat are usually unquantifiable. It’s unhealthy and best avoided.
Patronage Tips: Meat generally contains certain ‘micro organism’ which can only be killed in a very high degree of temperature. Roasted meat-snack cooked over intense coal heat is preferably okay.
Some of the indigenous Suya snack sellers have a standard of serving hot meat to their customers.
In case of an oversight and they forget to heat your meat, they won’t be offended if you remind them.
Is the Meat-Snack cold and regularly oiled?
Apparently these kinds of meat have over stayed in the open probably for days.
Therefore buying and consuming cold meat-snack which is regularly oiled by sellers, (just to keep the meat greasy or attractive) is not a good idea. Best avoided.
Patronage Tips: Fresh meat has natural oil which keeps it oily.
Always insist to be served fresh and hot meat-snack!
Is the ‘Suya’ displayed a Leftover or fresh?
Investigations has revealed that most meat snacks which are readily showcased between 9:00AM and 1:00PM (unless if you have earlier ordered for it) aren’t fresh and are most often leftovers, recycled for re-sell.
It may be delicious quite alright but not worth your penny.
And more importantly may put your health at risk.
Close observation of ‘Suya cooks’ suggests; fresh meat produced from slaughtered animals at local abattoir are usually processed within early hours of the day.
And the enormous task of preparing fresh meat-snack usually falls within late-noon and evenings.
Leftover meat is not worth patronage and best avoided.
Patronage Tips: Suya prepared between 2:00PM and 6:00PM are considered to be fresh.
Early visits to these kinds of joints, you’ll notice the cooks and their team busy; preparing their products.
For any customer who intends to buy, these sellers are seldom in hurry to sell half cooked meat.
They’ll rather suggest you wait a little longer.
Features to note: These classes of suya sellers enjoy high patronage!
Are the barbequed organs properly prepared?
Most people might protest that there is nothing wrong with eating meat-snack made from the internal organs of animals. Actually, nothing wrong.
But, since ‘prevention is better than cure.’
We all know that eliminatory carnal stores the waste of the food these animals eats.
If reasonable care is not observed in its preparation, you may end up not only splitting it out of your mouth, (and won’t get refund) but might have contacted food poison.
Patronage Tips: If your appetite is craving for ‘spicy intestines’ (if you have the time to spare) it’s best to buy fresh organs and thoroughly wash and barbeque at home.
Alternatively, if you’re acquainted with the cooks or sellers of ‘spicy intestines’ prepared at any popular joint that you have patronized in time past without any health troubles.
But ensure that it is served hot!
Is the meat-snack well-cooked or half done?
Gone are the days when it was told that ‘half done’ meat gives more protein to the body.
Do not gamble.
The health implication of eating ‘undercooked’ Suya like any other under cooked meat can jeopardize your health because the ‘micro organs’ found in meat, when under cooked, remain alive.
Unfortunately some of our ‘suya’ makers in a bid to make profit ‘sell’ undercooked meat.
Eating poorly prepared meat has untold health implication. Best avoided
Patronage Tips: Be cautious! Patronize meat snack that has been thoroughly cooked.
Is the Meat from Sick or Dead Animals?
How can one tell if that appetizingly displayed meat-snack: was actually made from healthy or sick animal; slaughtered or dead animal?
It may be difficult but not entirely impossible to determine.
All it requires is your basic knowledge concerning few animals and their kinds of meat.
It is generally assumed that camels and donkeys meats are more ‘reddish and stiffer’ than cow meat.
And dead animals taste different from slaughtered animals.
The tip is to work closely with your intuition.
If you become suspicious of any meat-snack due to the obvious reasons.
Its best avoided.
Patronage Tips: The best way to beat this and be on the safer side is to buy and eat meat snack prepared and sold at trusted joints or standard suya spots.
Most of these joints comply with the required hygienic standard of practice.