By Faith Nyasuguta
The chicken and pork that Kenyans buy across the country could be contaminated with superbugs or drug-resistant bacteria.
That is because livestock suppliers are using too many antibiotics to boost growth and evade disease thus posing a public health threat.
A recently released study by the World Animal Protection revealed that many meat samples from Kenya had high contamination.
Pork and chicken brands managed by supermarkets were found with the highest contamination.
The survey was released via Webinar and discussed in a press briefing that followed immediately.
The study showed that some 187 pork samples and 206 chicken samples were collected from six different supermarket chains in six Kenyan counties, including Nairobi, Kisumu, Nakuru, Laikipia, Uasin Gishu, and Nyeri.
The samples underwent testing at the Kenya Medical Research Institute and the study was carried out between April 2020 and July 2020.
“ Some 95 percent of meat sold in supermarkets in Kenya contains drug-resistant bacteria, commonly known as superbugs, “ Dr Victor Yamo, the campaigns manager at the World Animal Protection said.
According to the WHO, superbugs are strains of bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi that are resistant to most antibiotics and other medications often used to cure the infections they cause.
The bacteria tend to develop the ability to counter medications that are commonly prescribed, making them useless.
The study showed different variants of escherichia coli, or E. coli were present in the pork samples and a few other meat samples.
“The results showed a high prevalence of bacterial contaminants in both pork at 98.4 percent and poultry at 96.6 percent,” Yamo said.
Researchers revealed that the commonest bacteria was E. coli collected from meat.