, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 18 – Machakos County has closed meat sections of Naivas supermarket in a crackdown targeting rogue retailers selling meat contaminated with chemicals posing danger to consumers.
Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua on Thursday ordered the closure of the supermarket’s meat sections, after samples tested positive for harmful chemicals.
In a statement to newsrooms, the Governor said the samples taken from the retailer’s branch at Gateway Mall in Mavoko had 3,286 milligrams of an additive that should not be used in meat.
Following the discovery, the county’s health department was directed to work closely with their counterparts in the national government, and ensure all Supermarkets meet the required standards.
“The butchery sections will remain closed until given an okay to open by my Government’s public health department,” reads the statement.
The discovery comes even after the retailer, through their Chief Commercial Officer Willy Kimani, came out strongly to ‘distance’ themselves from the use of additives to preserve meat.
“We do not condone or encourage the use of any chemical substances to preserve the meat sold in our butcheries across all our 53 stores,” he asserted during a media tour of the retailer’s storage facility on Tuesday.
The government has since directed that all slaughterhouses and retailers should be probed, to ensure they don’t use harmful additives following an exposé by local television channel, NTV.
The exposé revealed the use of sodium metabisulphite by three retailer outlets to prolong the shelf life of meat products.
The investigation showed meat samples from the supermarkets had chemical residue exceeding a permissible residue limit of 500p.p.m (parts per million).
The Ministry of Health has also directed county governments to scale up inspection and prioritize the implementation of health measures that are aimed at safeguarding public health safety.
The Law Society of Kenya alongside Kenya Veterinary Association called for action against those found guilty of putting Kenyan lives at risk.
The veterinary association further urged the government to outlaw the use of chemical preservatives on unprocessed meat, due to lack of clear guidelines and control.