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Your favourite ‘Kuku Porno’ may take you to an early grave


The chicken served at some popular fast food cafes in Nairobi could be laced with a toxic cocktail of bacteria and in some cases, chemicals that could cause cancer.

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Fried chicken and chips. Photo: Mickey/Flickr


Tests commissioned by the Nation show that the ready-to-eat chicken is contaminated with bacteria such as E.coli, salmonella, staphylococcus, enterobacteriaceae and coliforms.

It also tested positive for sodium metabisulphite, a preservative that scientists have said causes cancer if consumed in large amounts.

While proper cooking and handling should eliminate most of these bacteria, these cases point to shocking laxity in public health standards at the sampled fast food cafes.

“The presence of these bacteria points a direct finger to bad cooking and hygiene practices, because they indicate that the meat has been in contact with fecal matter.

FRESH FOOD

“The person handling this food is either not cooking it properly or is not washing hands after visiting the toilet,” Dr Joseph Wahome, a toxicologist at Meru Level Five Hospital, said.

He added that heat, however, has no effect on the sodium metabisulphite, which should not be present at all in fresh food.

“Sodium metabisulphite should only be in processed food and in small quantities. Its presence in fresh meat shows that suppliers are using it to prolong shelf life, without knowing the correct quantities to apply.

“This could be particularly dangerous for those allergic to sulphur as it could give them skin eruptions or send them into anaphylactic shock,” he said.

Raw chicken from a supermarket was also found to be contaminated with the same bacteria.

CONTAMINATION

Dr Wahome said that chicken should be washed before cooking to reduce bacterial contamination, although he warned that washing had limited effect on chemical contaminants.

“There have been incidents of meat, especially beef, being preserved with formalin, the chemical used to preserve bodies in the mortuary.

“Washing would not eliminate this or the sodium metabisulphite as the chemical usually penetrates into the very fibre of the meat.

“Be wary of butcheries that seem to be completely free of houseflies since flies avoid meat that has been chemically preserved with formalin,” he said.

Milk, fruits and vegetables are also compromised, leaving Kenyans with limited options for safe foods and contributing to a growing disease-burden that continues to clog health facilities and derail economic development.

A health craze has taken over the world by storm. As more diseases are linked to lifestyle and nutrition, people are beginning to grow more conscious of their food.


SOURCE: Nairobi News

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