Health officials from Nairobi County yesterday raided and closed down six outlets in the ongoing crackdown against the use of harmful chemicals for meat preservation. The outlets include Muthaiga Fine Meats Limited, Tuskys Buruburu, Naivas Mavoko, and Tuskys Kenyatta Avenue.

Nairobi Health Department said that 15% of the samples collected from 40 outlets in the capital have been confirmed to contain the chemical. The raids are therefore expected to continue as per the directive issued on Monday by Health CS Sicily Kariuki to all public health officers.

Nairobi Health CEC Mohammed Dagane said, “The requirement is that the preservatives be used in limited amounts but these shops went ahead and exceeded the amounts. Those are some of the things that will affect people’s lives.”
The raid came only a few hours after the Machakos Governor Dr. Alfred Mutua ordered the close of Naivas Supermarkets’ meat section in the county. This was due to the fact that meat from Naivas Supermarket, Gateway Mall, was found to contain 3,286 mg of the harmful chemical.

“The butchery sections will remain closed until given an okay to open by my Government’s public health department,” said Dr. Mutua in a statement.

Following this directive by Dr. Mutua, Naivas Supermarket has suspended the sale of red meat in all its branches as a precautionary move to monitor the supplier chain and run independent tests.

In a statement, Naivas Chief Commercial Officer Willy Kimani said, “We will only be selling white meat for now in all our butcheries.” The move, he said, was in compliance with the national and county governments efforts to address and resolve the issue.

By Kinyanjui Wanjiku