Kenya: Meat safety in doubt

By Mercy Imali

The Kenya Veterinary Association (KVA) has urged the government to outlaw the use of chemical preservatives on unprocessed meat, due to lack of clear policy and controls.

The Association stated that the lack of clear guidelines had made it easy for meat selling outlets to exceed the Maximum Residue Limit (MRL) basically rendering meat unfit for human consumption.

KVA Chairman Samuel Kahariri said, “The chemical preservatives on meat are used on supposedly fresh meat and therefore fed to unsuspecting customers who may suffer varying health complications. We therefore, request the government to immediately outlaw any use of the chemical preservatives in all the meat outlets that are not involved in processing and packaging.”

In cases where chemical preservatives are used, the veterinary officers say the products must be clearly labeled, and amounts used indicated. The vets have also called upon the national government to conduct an urgent audit on all the slaughterhouse facilities across the country and ensure that each has a meat inspector.

Following devolution of local abattoirs, the vet officers argue there has been laxity in the management of the facilities.