Naivas supermarket has urged the government agencies charged with meat inspection and quality assurance of fresh foods to increase their vigilance on meat suppliers.
Speaking in Nairobi Willy Kimani, Chief Commercial Officer Naivas Supermarket said that in fact the government should institute cold chains and cold rooms as a standard facility for all suppliers who want to sell meat.
This comes after an expose by a local media house that showed how rogue supermarket officials use chemicals, to increase the shelf life of products, putting at risk the lives of millions of Kenyans.
According to the report the meat is laced with Sodium Metabisulfite, a chemical used to preserve food products if used in the right amounts. For the meat the chemical is used to stop meat from going bad before the same meat is repackaged and put on display and couched as “fresh and juicy” meat.
“We can’t deny that there are no rogue suppliers and retailers who are using chemical preservatives to give their products a longer shelf life but the message we want to pass across is that Naivas supermarket we are focused on delivering great quality products to our customers throughout the country and will continue to do so.”
At the same time, he refuted claims that Naivas supermarket has been using preservative chemicals saying that the supermarket doesn’t condone, encourage or require the use of any chemical substances to preserve the meats sold in its butcheries across its 53 stores.
“We have invested sh 360 million in a central butchery, a fleet of cold transport trucks and a cold room in every outlet to ensure that all meats maintain the right temperature that prevent bacterial growth.”
In addition, he says that the firm maintains a service level agreement with the abattoirs which requires all meat suppliers to supply all necessary government certificates, transport and process documents from the veterinary services including that its 100 per cent Halal.
Another requirement is that all meat supplied to the firm central butchery must have been slaughtered in under 12 hours and delivered at temperatures below five degrees Celcius. Furthermore, they require all suppliers to guarantee that they have not added artificial preservatives.