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Nairobi County bans food hawking to prevent disease outbreak

Nairobi County has banned all food hawking business saying that they pose as health risk to the residents.

The public health officers have also been called upon to ensure that they inspect all food handling businesses in the city including five star hotels and if found not up to standard will be closed down.

Some of the major food hawking businesses include samosas, fish, mutura, roasted maize, chips, omena among others likely to cause cholera outbreak in a city that is experiencing water shortage.

Speaking to the Nation the County health executive Bernard Muia said that the number of those hawking food without proper licenses have increased at an alarming rate.

He said that the public health officers have been ordered not to allow food hawkers to sell food in the city as those found hawking food in open places will be arrested and prosecuted.

HAWKERS

He said that the residents who buy this food are not aware that the hawkers hide in the public toilets when they spot a county officials.

“People eat all kind of dirt, some of these hawkers you find them in the city toilets hiding there with the food as they escape from our officials,” said Dr Muia.

Dr Muia added that the health inspectors have also turned out to be soliciting funds from food handlers giving them notice that they will soon be caught.

“The department of public health have been receiving bribes from food handling business and turn a blind eye on unhygienic places where they sell food to people,” said Dr Muia.

He said that the inspection of food eateries will be carried out by officers who have been deployed inspect and ensure food safety.

BIRD FLU

He also called upon the residents to avoid eating dead chicken or those birds that are almost dying following an outbreak of bird flu in Uganda.

Dr Muia said that Nairobi is however facing a big challenge since the major supply of chicken is mainly from outside the capital.

He called upon those in chicken business to be careful and be humane enough not to slaughter dead chicken which are infected and sell it them in the city.

“We have a problem as a county as mostly the chicken we eat in the city comes from outside and they come here after they are slaughtered therefore we cannot determine if they were dead or healthy,” said Dr Muia.

However, he said that they have put in place disease surveillance team which will report on cases of any outbreak in the county and help in containing them before they spread.