Kenya: Watchdog Raises Concerns Over Unhygienic Slaughterhouses

(file photo).
20 September 2023

Nairobi — Kenya Consumer Organization (KCO) has raised concerns over poor conditions at Kenya's slaughterhouses.

KCO is urging the Kenyan government to take stern action on unhygienic facilities since they pose a potential health risk to consumers.

The consumer protection firm recently finalized an investigation that revealed shocking deficiencies in hygiene standards and food safety standards at meat abattoirs, raising serious concerns about the safety of poultry products in the country.

Key findings

Poor Sanitation: Many slaughterhouses were found to have inadequate sanitation practices, including the improper disposal of waste, leading to the risk of contamination and disease transmission.

Lack of Inspection: A significant number of slaughterhouses were operating without regular inspections, oversight, or adherence to food safety regulations.

Unsafe Handling: Improper handling of poultry, including inadequate refrigeration and storage, increases the risk of contamination and the spread of foodborne pathogens.

Inadequate Training: Insufficient training for workers on hygiene and food safety practices was observed, potentially contributing to unsafe conditions.

It was also noted that some leading retail chains have been selling innocent consumers meat sourced from unlicensed slaughterhouses.

This exposes Kenyans to potential health challenges, including Salmonella, among other complications.

In a press statement, Churchill Omondi, the CEO of KCO, explained that the agency recognizes the critical importance of food safety in safeguarding the health and well-being of the Kenyan population.

"We are urgently calling on the Kenyan government to conduct thorough inspections of all meat slaughterhouses and ensure strict adherence to food safety standards and launch an awareness campaign to educate consumers about the importance of safe poultry products and how to identify products from certified sources," he said.

He added, "The safety and well-being of consumers are paramount to us. We can not allow unsanitary conditions in poultry slaughterhouses to jeopardize public health. We call upon the Kenyan government to take swift and decisive action to address this issue and protect the rights and health of all consumers."

On June 14, 2023, the Permanent Secretary for Trade officially launched the Kenya Consumer Advisory Committee (KECOPAC).

The committee is mandated to protect the rights of Kenyan consumers.

Kenya has several government agencies that work to protect consumers.

The agencies include the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS), Communications Authority of Kenya (CA), Anti-counterfeit Authority of Kenya (ACA), Kenya Consumer Protection Advisory Committee (KECOPAC), and the Department of Weights and Measures.

Others are the Central Bank of Kenya (CBK), Insurance Regulatory Authority (IRA), Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC), Kenya Industrial Property Institute (KIPI), and Medical Practitioners & Dentists Board.


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