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Kenya

Supermarket meat outlets closed in contamination scandal given 14 days to re-apply

An official from the Nairobi County Inspectorate department inspects a meat products displayed in a supermaket. Photo/FILE.

NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 2 – Supermarkets whose meat outlets were closed for selling contaminated products have been given two weeks to re-apply for inspection.

The outlets were closed when products on display were found to have excess Sodium Metabisulphite content, leading to the arrest and prosecution of several officials.

The top supermarket officials who appeared before the City Court pleaded not guilty and were all released on bond.

The officials from Tusker Mattress Eastlands, Tusker Mattress Kenyatta Avenue and Naivas Supermarket Buruburu branch were all released on cash bond of Sh300,000 each and surety of the same amount.

Muthaiga Fine Meat officials were given a cash bond of Sh200,000.

City Court’s Chief magistrate Roselyn Ogayo, in her bond ruling said the cases will be heard on August 19 and 30.

The City Court had ordered officials of the six outlets to appear before the court and respond for contravening Section 4 and 36(1) of the Food, Drugs and Chemical Substances Cap 254 as contained in Statute Law Act number 2 of 2002 .

They were required to explain why they have been using preservatives beyond the 500 milligrams per kilogram stipulation.

Some of the offenses include processing, treating, labeling, packaging, selling or advertising food in a manner that is false, misleading and deception in trade.

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They also face charges of endangering human life as well as engaging in businesses not captured in their licenses.

The meat sections of the supermarkets were shut down by county health officials in the ongoing crackdown on all food eateries in town.

City Hall said the move is in line with Governor Mike Sonko’s executive order to the county health department to probe and carry out tests on all eateries.

Nairobi County Executive for Health Mohamed Dagane said that the Supermarkets will only be allowed to reopen the meat sections if they comply with the required regulations.

Dagane said the directive apply to all food vendors and eateries in Nairobi.

The county government said it is also working on measures to safeguard its slaughterhouses from such acts.

Other areas targeted include Burma and Kiamaiko meat markets to ensure safety regulations are complied with.

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