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Alert: Cancer-causing substance being used to preserve fish in Kenya

Is Formalin Being Used in Kenya to Preserve Fish for Human Consumption?

Hello Nyakundi,

Endelea vivyo hivyo na kazi.

Here is a new one.

My wife bought some fish at Kariobangi market over the weekend. Immediately she arrived home, I asked her if she had visited someone in the hospital.

When she asked why I told her coz the house suddenly smells of hospital chemicals. She responded she was nowhere near a hospital.

The smell persisted and so did my queries. She soon revealed she had bought some fish. We suspected it was the wrapping paper used for the fish and the story ended there.

But when the fish was cooked and was on my plate, I told her, this fish smells of a mortuary. I hastily concluded the fish was either from Lake Nakuru or China…and we put the fish aside to prepare a faster meal of eggs.

A quick google search revealed that the use of formalin to preserve fish is a common practice in India, Bangladesh and generally Asia…as a means of preserving fish, particularly in hot areas.

The google search revealed that you need to wash such fish with running water for 10 – 12 minutes to rinse off the formalin. Furthermore, the constant consumption of such fish causes cancer.

My worry is that many Kenyans might not be as keen and are consuming such fish.

Tafadhali, request them to be more vigilant.

Google says that the easiest method to identify such fish is that flies do not bother to fly around it. Coz it is not rotting.


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