Some meat retailers in Zimbabwe are reportedly using embalming chemicals on meat to keep it from rotting.
They use formalin, a chemical mixture of preservatives used on human corpses in mortuaries to temporarily prevent the decomposition of dead bodies.
A butchery operator who spoke to The Sunday Mail claimed that 18-hour power cuts have necessitated the use of embaming chemicals. He said:
My products, meat and mackerel, were going bad every day because of the power cuts. Someone advised me to try embalming fluids (formalin) to keep the meat fresh.
The report also reveals that unscrupulous retailers mix sodium metabisulfite with water which they then spray on the meat to maintain its reddish colour and make it look fresh.
Some meat vendors are allegedly injecting steroids into both living animals and packed meat in order to increase their weight.
Meanwhile, a food scientist student at a local university, Ronald Tirivavi, said that food laced with the chemicals can cause candida, pneumonia, diarrhoea, as well as throat and respiratory distress and can, weaken the immunity.