The Directorate of Veterinary Services has expressed apprehension regarding the consumption of chicken meat in Nairobi Central Business District (CBD), residential areas, and major towns across the country.
In a letter dated November 6, Director Obadiah Njagi raised concerns that a significant portion of the meat being sold in various food establishments had not undergone inspection by health officials.
Njagi pointed out that a notable deviation from the legal requirement was observed, as chickens were now being slaughtered at individuals’ homes instead of designated slaughterhouses. Additionally, the transportation of meat from these homes to the slaughterhouses did not adhere to the prescribed safety standards.
The letter highlighted the predominant practice among broiler chicken farmers who slaughter chickens in their backyard and then transport the meat to hotels and eateries. The communication, addressed in part to county directors, specifically identified fast-food outlets in the CBD and other towns as primary targets.
The Directorate identified numerous butcheries across the country that directly sourced their chicken from farmers, a practice in violation of the Meat Control Act Cap 356 of the laws of Kenya. The act stipulates that food animals should only be slaughtered in licensed slaughterhouses under the supervision of an inspecting officer.
As a response, county inspectors were urged to monitor and address these practices, emphasizing the potential harm they pose to the public. The Directorate issued a warning, stating that actions would be taken against traders found violating the stipulated requirements.
The letter underscored the risks associated with such malpractices, highlighting the exposure of consumers to unhygienic meat and meat products. This exposure could serve as a source of harmful microorganisms, medicine residues, and other contaminants, posing a threat to public health.
In light of these developments, Kenyans were advised to exercise caution when choosing outlets for purchasing chicken, given the current alarming situation.