A report recently released by the Ministry of Health (MoH) has revealed that boiled eggs popularly known as (Mayai kachumbari) sold in Nairobi are unfit for consumption.
The famous mayai kachumbari is sold across different joints in Nairobi with vendors along the bus station, railways, tearoom, odeon among other places trying to make a living following tough economic times as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Normally, the kachumbari is mixed with onions, tomatoes, coriander and hot chillis. It is then served with tomato sauce or hot chilli sauce.
Samples of the boiled eggs and kachumbari were collected from selected areas and were analyzed, tested for bacteria and contamination at the National Microbiology Reference Biology.
The results, according to the Standard, revealed that the samples collected contained disease-causing germs and a high presence of Escherichia coli (E. Coli) bacteria.
E.coli is a type of bacteria mainly found in the intestines. The bacteria has certain strains that cause stomach ache, diarrhea, cramps and low fever.
In worst cases, the most severe form of E.coli can cause kidney failure.
An official from the Ministry of Health, Kepha Ombacho told the publication that any amount of E. coli bacteria in food indicates the presence of human or animal faecal contamination, hence should not be consumed.
“For any cooked food to be safe it must contain zero E. coli and a reasonable number of coliforms, which vary depending on the type of food, but should not exceed 10,” Dr Ombacho is quoted by the publication.
Although the period of which the bacteria is introduced in the boiled eggs cannot be fully ascertained, food experts have argued that the contamination might have occurred during handling either the water being used or the preparation.
On a good day, it is approximated that the boiled eggs vendor can make Sh3,000 after selling 10 trays of eggs.
Ideally, most of the vendors do not maintain good food hygiene as they handle money and food at the same time hence could be a source of contamination.
According to Nairobi Metropolitan Service (NMS) Chief Health Officer Ouma Oluga, a regulatory framework is in the works and will be put in place to ensure food vendors are registered and well trained on food handling.
“We are working to ensure on a way where we can put the regulatory framework and assist them by first of all registering them as food handlers, training them regularly, testing them as food handlers and also engaging them on good safety measures for food,” Dr Oluga told the Standard.
Here are more results from the samples collected: