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Food fraud rocks Uganda; farmers using rat poison in maize & beans, supermarkets conniving with roadside vendors to sell rotten sausages, meat

By Harriet Nambozo

Uganda is a time bomb!
A recent survey by Uganda Martyrs University revealed that farmers in Uganda insert rat poison in sacks of maize and beans to ward off pests including rats and weevils.

Farmers apply rat poison to ward off pests

The report passed without alarm in the media on 20 September 2019.

But that is not all. Supermarkets have devised another chain in the management of expired products. Individuals connected to management and staff collect rotting sausages, meat and chicken to sell to roadside vendors allover Kampala. The expired foods are salted, peppered and deep fried to kill the bad smell and cheaply sold to unsuspecting customers.

Expired meat is sold in supermarkets and butchers

In the city abattoirs, dead cows, goats and sheep are slaughtered and sold cheaply as fresh meat to small butchers. The butchers then sell sheep mutton as goat meat to the ‘suspecting’ public.

A damning report was released in 2019

At Nakasero market, nearly half the chicken are brought in dead and sold to the unsuspecting public.

Indeed, apart from a few established meat packers, sausages are stuffed in unhygienic conditions. This goes for many bottled juices which are assembled by hand in unsanitary neighbourhoods and shelved in supermarkets. One of the leading confectioners is a victim to cloning of supplies by uncouth staff who bake yummy and creamy sponge and forest cakes. We visited their unsightly home jumping rivulets of sewage to take a delivery that had delayed. There were swarms black and blue flies as we made our way out of the premises. Needless to say, their food crafts are cheap on the pocket.

Why should this concern me and you? Because dead carcass pose a serious health risk to humans since they may carry diseases.

There are stories too, of transformer oil being used to deep fry potato chips and fish. Because it takes long to evaporate! There are rogue suppliers of used cooking oil from the major hotels in Kampala. This oil is sold cheaply to roadside vendors. It is oil that has cooked fish, chicken, pork and beef – one blend of black and heavy adulterated oil.

There are businesses packing ordinary rice in Basmat branded bags. They employ young men to spread the rice on dirty floors. They then pour cooking oil and mix it with their unwashed feet so that all grains are heavy with the grease. They pack it in branded and reduced kilos to wholesalers at the shop near you.

I could go on and on.

Some of these stories have been aired on TV. But for many of them, you and me know who is exposing the public to serious risk of disease.

Fellow Ugandans. Twebereremu. Let stop the moral decadence. Or else, Cancer will surely eat our lot at great cost.

 

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