The Busia County Department of Health and Sanitation has warned supermarkets in the region against selling meat.
In a directive by the County Public Health Officer Napoleon Nyongesa, the outlets have been ordered to stop, with immediate effect, displaying, cooking or selling meat to their customers.
In a notice addressed to managers of Tesia Junction, Frontier, Frank Matt Highway and Khetia’s Supermarkets, Mr Nyongesa noted that the outlets have been displaying, cooking and selling meat for human consumption without compliance to provisions of the Food, Drug and Chemical Substances Act.
“You are hereby required to immediately close down display, cooking and sale of meat for human consumption under provisions of Cap 254 and 242 of the Laws of Kenya. Your action is injurious and dangerous to health and life respectively,” read the notice.
The supermarkets have been asked to fulfil laid out conditions including provision of adequate and accessible sanitary facilities, obtain valid and requisite food hygiene licenses and comply with other legal provisions.
But Khetia’s Manager Fredrick Ochieng denied claims that their outlet sells meat products.
“We don’t sell any of these products since setting shop in Busia. We want to assure our customers that we will continue to adhere to food regulations in the country,” he told the Nation.
Tesia Supermarkets Director John Kariuki said they have complied with the regulations set by the Health department.
“We have all licenses from relevant authorities mandating our operations. The department should go ahead and shut down meat segment of those outlets that have not complied,” he said.
Tesia operates outlets in Busia, Malaba and Bungoma.
Efforts to get a comment from Frankmatt retail chain Director Samuel Maingi were futile as his phone went unanswered.
Meanwhile, Kocholia meat inspector Silas Etyang said they have beefed up surveillance across all abattoirs and butcheries in the county to ensure only licensed meat is sold.
“We will go round the county to ensure the meat sold to residents is safe. Those found selling uninspected meat will be arrested and charged,” he said.
A random survey conducted on the safety of meat sold in Nairobi confirmed the use of toxic preservatives to prolong the shelf life of the products.
The health Ministry and Nairobi County found that six out of 40 samples had sodium metabisulfite which is toxic when consumed.