The Ministry of Health, through the Cabinet Secretary Sicily k. kariuki (Mrs.), EGH has released a statement following the NTV Investigative report by a leading Investigative journalist , on the use of Sodium Metabisulfite by supermarkets and butcheries to preserve meat which has caused huge uproar among Kenyans . The Ministry of Health states that Sodium Metabisulfite referred to as “sulfites” is a food preservative that is legal for use in some specified food categories.
The Ministry of Health collected random samples from various outlets for analysis at the National Public Health Laboratories and issued orders on all County Public Health Departments to carry out intensified investigations in all supermarkets, butcheries, meat processors and other food business operators to ascertain any presence of additives that are not legalized for use in meat and meat products. The results of the analysis will be made public after they are released.
” We have directed all county governments to scale up and prioritize the enactment of public health measures which are targeted at protecting the public health safety of the people. The measures set are, food safety, management of sewage and waste water, pollution control, surveillance on the safety of drinking water and prevention of all types of public health irritations”. says Sicily Kariuki The county governments have also been directed to strictly enforce the existing laws.
In May 2016, there was a public complaint on the use of formalin a chemical that is commonly used in preservation of bodies in mortuaries on meat. The Ministry took random samples for analysis and the results confirmed there wasn’t any contamination on the meat. The Ministry assured Kenyans it is alert and will ensure public complaints are addressed to their factual conclusion.
“All food business operators are directed to observe the provisions and requirements of Food safety and hygiene practices to ensure the safety of the consumers. Legal action will be taken against those who contravene the Laws of Kenya Cap .242 and Cap 254. These include the closure of the premises, seizure and destruction of the food items.” says Sicily k.Kariuki
The Cabinet Secretary Sicily k. Kariuki assured Kenyans that the Ministry will continue to Provide an oversight role to ensure that the food safety standards are complied with in Kenya.
The expose ‘Red Alert by NTV caused panic among Kenyans who mostly consume meat and meat products from supermarkets.