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Kenyan public health officers step up meat inspection ahead of Christmas

By Kepher Otieno | Published Tue, December 20th 2016 at 00:00, Updated December 19th 2016 at 23:59 GMT +3
A butcher in Kisii. PHOTO: FILE

Veterinary officers in Kisumu in collaboration with public health officials have intensified meat inspection ahead of Christmas festivities.

The inspection comes amid fears that meat from animals that had not been inspected was ending up in local butcheries.

The officers warned butchers against secret attempts to slaughter diseased animals as they intensified safety checks in all slaughterhouses.

Led by Kisumu Sub-County veterinary boss Teresa Opiyo, the combined force of public health officers said it was keen  to keep at bay unscrupulous operators.

"Inspectors will intensify checks in all abattoirs. They will also cut open pig carcasses to check for signs of any disease before the meat is released to the markets," said Ms Opiyo.

The officer said they will rely on visual checks to avoid the risk of any undetected harmful bacteria being spread.

She said it would be safer to have a hands-off system using visual checks so as to reduce cross-contamination. "The risk to the consumers is mostly from microbiological and pathogenic hazards and that's what we must control," she said.

She added: "We cannot simply ignore the risks that are posed by touching, cutting and handling that will later affect the end user; consumer."

Currently, over 50 cows and 20 pigs are being slaughtered per day, an increase from the initial less than 30 cows and 12 pigs.

Goat meat uptake is also on the rise in the county. The demand for goat meat has continued to increase over the last one month as the Christmas season sets in.