Implementing Social Marketing Strategies to Improve Food-Safety Awareness During Eid-Al Adha Festival in Indonesia
Indonesia is the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation. As a result, Eid-Al Adha, the annual Muslim Festival of Sacrifice, is one of the largest religious festivals in Indonesia. During the festival, there will be prayers and ritual sacrifice of animals; the meat will be distributed to the poor and shared among families. The slaughtering and butchering process of the animals usually involves many volunteers and occupies public spaces, such as mosque car park areas, public parks, or side streets. Since it is a public holiday, the pilgrims and people who live around the sites usually come to watch the process. This becomes a public health issue because slaughtering animals in open areas and butchering the carcasses under ambient temperature (230C-300C) might increase the risk of animal-borne and food-borne infection to the public.
The local governments usually deploy veterinarians to inspect ante- and post-mortem status of animals and the carcasses to make sure none of sick animals or unhealthy carcasses being slaughtered and/or distributed to public. However, since these animals are usually slaughtered at the same time, it is almost impossible to have all animals and carcasses being inspected because the number of veterinarians are lower compared with the pace of the animals being slaughtered. Furthermore, sanitation is also a major issue because the remaining blood and fecal material from animals might contain infectious agents and thus increase the risk of public exposure to environmental hazards.
The most feasible way for the local governments to improve this condition is to conduct campaign based on social marketing strategies to raise community awareness about these problems. Many agencies around the world have implemented the principles of social marketing and have been successful in dealing with public health issues. In influencing the costumer to change health behavior, social marketers are prefer to promote the most appealing motivation to their costumer rather than reinforce fears, rewards, or penalties. Since the idea of Eid-Al Adha is a charity action to the poor, this campaign will focus to motivate mosque volunteers to provide hygiene meat to the poor; improving sanitation during slaughtering and butchering process is the new health behavior the local governments expect to see from the volunteers. This campaign will also point out the act of cleaning out the public venues after the festival because being responsible to environmental health is one of religious actions. The leaders of mosque volunteers are the target costumer for this campaign because they have power to influence other volunteers. In conclusion, improving social awareness by implementing social marketing strategies is powerful to minimize the risk of animal-borne and food-borne diseases during Eid-Al Adha festival in Indonesia.