Roadside food vendors are on the spot over the quality of products they sell to Kenyans on major highways in the country.
There are increasing concerns that food products that most travelers purchase from hawkers are not fit for human consumption.
Over the recent past, Kenyans using the Nairobi-Nakuru highway have raised concerns on social media over the safety of yogurt sold at the Gilgil weighbridge.
Dreadful experiences such as severe diarrhea have left many believing that the milk products sold in the area are poisonous.
“I remember the day like it was yesterday. In 2006, I bought a packet of yoghurt at the spot as I was traveling. Minutes later, I had to ask the matatu driver to halt the vehicle. I could not continue with my journey as I had a running stomach,” Raphael Muturi narrated on Facebook recently.
“I know of a child who passed on after taking yoghurt along the Nakuru highway. The child was travelling with the father when they bought the yoghurt. Unfortunately, the kid got so sick and died by the time they got to Nairobi.”
According to another social media user, the vendors at the Gilgil weighbridge are dishonest people out to make profits at the expense of the health of their customers.
“When you arrive at Gilgil weighbridge, buy three yogurts from these roadside hawkers and give one yoghurt back to the hawker to partake as you watch. Even if you give them Ksh1,000 as bonus, they will not take the yoghurt,” the netizen said.
Experts say that most of the products sold on the roadside are not fit for human consumption.
Moses Kutwah, a local nutritionist, recently warned Kenyans against consuming the products.
Speaking to a local news outlet, Kutwah said that the food and particularly yogurt sold on Kenyan highways does not meet the hygiene standards as well as the temperatures required for storage.
“In some instances, the yogurt may be expired,” he told Kenyans in an interview.
He advised that yogurt ought to be refrigerated as its microbes should be stored under specific temperatures.
“If the yogurt is not refrigerated, it might lead to poisoning. On the roads, sometimes it is rainy, other times sunny and this leads to the increase and decrease of temperatures which is not good for the yogurt,” he added.
This is not the first time Kenyans are being cautioned against consuming yogurt from roadside vendors.
In April 2016, officials from the Ministry of Health busted a fake yogurt manufacturing and distribution syndicate in Nakuru town.
The officials established that the product that was being manufactured at Manyani estate by a company called Optimum did not contain any milk content.
They destroyed more than 200 litres of the fake yogurt with strawberry and vanilla flavors.
“The ingredients used for making the product include cornflour – a product specially made for thickening soups, sauces and gravies, food colouring and henna – a product used for decorating nails mostly by women and dying hair,” Nakuru East Public Health Officer Vanice Kwamboka said then.
Ironically, the product bore the Kenya Bureau of Standard mark of quality logo.
Five suspects were arrested in the operation.