- New research reveals that the bulk of the tainted meat on sale is under the brands of retailers compared to cuts from suppliers.
A significant portion of the chicken and pork meat sold in local supermarkets is contaminated with bacteria, some of which could be harmful to humans, a new report from the UK-based World Animal Protection has revealed.
In the findings, released Wednesday, the organization says most of the contaminated meat on sale is under retailers’ own brands compared to supplier cuts.
Dr Victor Yamo, head of breeding campaigns for World Animal Protection and principal investigator of the study, said the presence of salmonella and shigella bacteria is cause for concern and efforts should be made to reduce their presence. levels.
“There was significant bacterial contamination in the pork and chicken meat samples from various supermarkets in Kenya,” Dr Yamo said.
The bacteria, usually transmitted through contaminated food, cause severe diarrhea and a wide spectrum of abdominal complications which health experts say are becoming difficult to treat due to increasing resistance to antibiotics.
The study, which hid the names of supermarkets, said the highest contamination was found in pork compared to chicken.
Samples were collected between April and May 2020 from the six major supermarkets in different counties in Kenya, including Nairobi, Nakuru, Uasin Gishu, Kisumu, Nyeri and Laikipia.
Laboratory analysis was performed at the Kenya Medical Research Institute Microbiology Research Center (Kemri).
The study also found that 60% of the meat in supermarkets contained superbugs, caused by heavy use of antibiotics to treat animals.
Superbugs are strains of bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi that are resistant to most antibiotics and other drugs commonly used to treat the infection they cause.
Dr Yamo said 40% of antibiotics used to treat animals are unnecessary and urged farmers to observe basic hygiene to avoid over reliance on drugs for sick livestock.
“The resistance patterns and phenotype observed are of concern as significant resistance has also been recorded against high priority antibiotics such as cefepime, cefoxatime, ciprofloxacin, vancomycin and erythromycin,” he said. .
Dr Yamo called on the industry to improve animal welfare and the responsible use of antibiotics, urging international organizations, governments and veterinarians to support responsible use with appropriate policy and regulation.