The Ministry of Health on Tuesday released a statement following an NTV exposé on sodium metabisulfite being used to preserve meat and meat products in Kenya.

The statement by Health CS Sicily Kariuki was titled "Use of Metabisulfite not permitted in Meat and Meat Products, Including Poultry and Game Meat" but it went on to outline that the chemical is a permitted additive for other foods.

"Our attention has been drawn to the NTV investigative report on how supermarkets and butcheries use chemicals to 'preserve' meat.

CS Sicily Kariuki statement on sodium metabisulfite use in meat and meat products
CS Sicily Kariuki statement on sodium metabisulfite use in meat and meat products
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"The MoH wishes to state that Sodium Metabisulfite (usually called sulfites) is a food additive permitted for use in specified food categories," the statement read in part.

Ministry of Health collects samples of meat in supermarkets

CS Kariuki further alerted members of the public that the government had already launched a crackdown countrywide to ascertain whether the additive is present in meat products being sold.

She explained that random samples have already been collected from supermarkets, butcheries, meat processors and other food business operators and the National Public Health laboratories have begun testing.

"The results of the analysis will be shared with the public immediately they are out.

"County Governments are directed to scale up and prioritize implementation of public health measures that are aimed to safeguard the public health safety of the population," the CS directed.

CS Sicily Kariuki statement on sodium metabisulfite use in meat and meat products
CS Sicily Kariuki statement on sodium metabisulfite use in meat and meat products