Outrage greeted an exposé by NTV investigative with Dennis Okari that revealed how supermarkets are using toxic chemicals to make their meat look fresher for longer.
The reporter conducted laboratory tests on meat samples which revealed high levels of Sodium Metabisulphite.
Food experts interviewed said the chemical is safe if used within recommended limit, but can cause negative side effects like nasal congestion, itchy throat, runny nose, skin rash and hives on consumers.
Use of the chemical as a food preservative is illegal by international standards is illegal.
However Kenya has never had an investigation into the use and effects of chemical in restaurants, supermarkets and other retail outlets.
NEW EXPIRY DATES
The NTV exposé has a source who revealed that meat sold in supermarkets is often lased with Sodium Metabisulphite and the labels changed to reflect new expiry dates,
"In the morning we have what we call 'production time.' This is when we take the meat that has stayed overnight at the display and we repackage it. After using the chemical the meat can look fresh for three to five days," said the source.
The chemical is so corrosive that the supermarket staff handling the meat have to wear protective gloves due to its harsh effects on the hands.
"The chemical can be corrosive to the skin and irritating to the eye so we have to cover ourselves," a supermarket staff confessed
The exposé saw Kenyans express their outrage and condemnation under the hashtag #RedAlert.
"What Dennis Okari did, from getting meat samples, testing to results, is the actual work of certain govt health officers who are earning salaries. But a broken system where corruption & incompetence thrives won't allow. Even the officers are watching as news. Terrible! #RedAlert," @Waambui tweeted.
@DjSoxxy commented; "After today's expose, stand by for an operation this week by Gvt agencies. Always reactive and playing catch up while am sure they knew this was happening. #REDALERT."
"#REDALERT I'm sincerely in shock at what people do for the sake of profits. Poisoning fellow Kenyans for an extra shilling," posted @mishy102 After watching, #RedAlert tonight, I fully agree that being a Kenyan is a big challenge. From high unemployment rates to consuming meat with sodium. SI AFASARI MTUNYONGE BASI,"said @vincad_entuda .
@ItsBravin said;"After watching #RedAlert, You will realize why we have so many cancer cases on the rise in Kenya especially Nairobi. Sahii ni kutafuta pesa ununue shamba uko gishagi na utoke mjini. Chai! It's not just glue, not just mercury, not just plastic rice. It all of them."
@CiikuwaSoxxy commented; "Unfortunately living in Kenya you worry about everything.. Meat, vegetables, fruits..let's not even start on MPs, no system works here, it's very sad. Only God can help us aki! #redalert."
"#RedAlert this is what our media should be doing, informing and teaching the people, not following politicians to churches and funerals, we shall not live by politics but by good health," posted @ProAchoki.
"This #RedAlert on @ntvkenya is painful watching. Supermarkets are knowingly preserving meat using toxic chemicals, and we have a Ministry of Health in this country? Our supermarkets are selling us toxic meat that even houseflies are afraid to touch? What country is this?" @gabrieloguda asked .
"Tomorrow early morning Supermarkets will issue statements defending there Brands #RedAlert," @odidoowen pointed out.
@snnyamao tweeted; "Sad Sad... . We're buying Cancer... The kind of perverted Ethic in our Society is Completely appaling... . Thanks @DennisOkari for this great piece... How Can people be so Inhuman and profit oriented..? Sad #RedAlert,".