Butcheries now using mortuary chemicals to preserve meat. The unscrupulous retailers are using these dangerous chemicals as they argue that it is now difficult to preserve their meat due to Zesa electricity load shedding which can last as long as 18 hours a day.
In a very alarming development, it has been established that some crooked meat retailers are using dangerous chemicals to preserve their meat as well as to make their meat products look enticing.
According to an investigation done by the weekly Sunday Mail publication, some of these retailers are actually using chemicals which are used in mortuaries to preserve human corpses and prevent them from decomposing.
The publication reports that its investigation established that some of the chemicals being used include formalin which is used for embalming in mortuaries. The formalin is procured from mortuaries via corrupt employees for as little as US$5.
Some also use a solution of sodium metabisulfite on the meat because it enhances the reddish colour giving the impression that the meat is very fresh. Even more alarming, cattle which are clearly sick are being slaughtered with the meat being sold to the unsuspecting public. One owner of a butcher shop who spoke to the publication said,
My products, meat and mackerel, were going bad every day because of the power cuts. Someone advised me to try embalming fluids (formalin) to keep the meat fresh. Soda water is widely used at abattoirs to keep the meat red, I don’t see anything wrong with that.
However, a doctor who spoke to the Sunday Mail warned of the effects of consuming the meat tainted with the chemicals. Dr George Chirimbo, a gastroenterologist warned,
“Formalin can’t be used in large quantities because it is easily detectable and it hardens the meat. I think these butchers and vendors are using small amounts. Consumption will not have an immediate effect on the person. However, if consumption is prolonged, it gets really dangerous,”
The ZRP has said that they are now on the case with Zimbabwe Republic Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi saying. According to the Health Act, it is forbidden to use such substances on meat. It is dangerous for consumers to take meat laced with such chemicals.
Source – Bulawayo24 News
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