Unsuspecting Kenyans are buying poisonous meat from different supermarkets across the country laced with Sodium Metabisulfite, a chemical used to preserve food products if used in the right amounts, an expose broadcasted by NTV on Sunday revealed.
Red Alert revealed that a number of unidentified retail chains in the country use the chemical to stop meat from going bad before the same meat is repackaged and put on display and couched as “fresh and juicy” meat.
The whistle blower,an employee of one of the supermarkets in the country said that meat section employees are compelled to use the chemical to preserve the meat, repackage it and sell it again, if the meat is still not sold five days after it is laced, it is used to prepare different meals sold in the the same supermarkets.
“It is a sin for the meat to go bad in our watch as that is considered a loss. We try to minimize losses by adding the chemical on minced meat or diced beef,” said the whistle blower.
So unfit is the meat for human consumption that the source was wearing gloves while demonstrating how the supermarkets preserve the meat as the chemical is corrosive to the skin.
“We lace the meat with the substance in the cold room where non-employees cannot see us. Most employees at the supermarket however are aware of what we do.” added the whistle blower.
After dive days of lacing meat with Sodium Metabisulfite, the meat becomes odourless, appears to be fresh and dons an appealing shade of red.
The expose which hinged on testing three meat samples bought from three different supermarkets revealed that regulatory bodies are not doing enough to protect Kenyans from unscrupulous managers seeking to make a killing at the expense of the health of Kenyans.
Dennis Okari’s report also revealed that the three different samples contained more than 500 mg of the chemical.
The first sample (17.1 gm) contained 550.4 mg of Sodium Metabulsifite, The second sample (17.1 gm) contained 547.2 mg of the chemical while sample three (17.4gm) contained 545.4 mg of the chemical.
Samuel Asande a clinical officer at the University of Nairobi (UoN) said that it is normal for foodstuffs to contain sulfites but averred that the amounts used by the supermarkets are too concentrated.
“The problem is that they are using it in the wrong amounts because it drains cells. Clinically we use it in the diagnosis of sickle cell anemia,” said Asande.
Dr Martha Mwangi, an anatomic pathologist at CrystalLab Pathologists and Diagnostics said that any amount of Sodium Metabisulfite above 500mg in a food substance is dangerous and may lead to side effects.
Dr Peter Maturi, a pathologist said that if ingested in excess, people with respiratory diseases like those who suffer from asthma could get more frequent attacks while it may also lead to cancer.
Jane Orwa a nutritionist added that if people who are allergic to sulfite consumed such foods, they may start reacting to the chemical and in pregnant women it may presents danger unborn babies