Kenya’s public health department has warned motorists on major highways in Naivasha not to buy fish from hawkers, as it is not safe.
According to a senior official, the illegal practice is a health hazard and the situation is compounded with more young people getting involved in it.
The official emphasized the importance of proper fish handling, such as storing it in refrigerated containers to avoid contamination.
“It is shocking to see the number of people involved in the illegal sale of fish and this might lead to food-borne illnesses,” the official said.
The department has discouraged consumers not to buy fish from unlicensed vendors and has raised concerns about the mode of transporting the delicacy.
“We cannot even be sure where the fish has been sourced from. The unhygienic environment, notwithstanding,” added the official.
The official who declined to be named because of protocol issues called for close coordination between the fisheries department and public health officers to halt the business, as well as the construction of special facilities for degutting fish.
Unlicensed fish sellers have been hawking fish for years along the busy Nairobi-Naivasha and the Naivasha-Maai Mahiu highways without adhering to spelled-out food-handling procedures.
Recently, the Nakuru county government, in partnership with development partners, began building a Ksh 240 million modern fish market at Kinungi, on the Nairobi-Naivasha highway.
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