It was a sizzling experience for tens of meat enthusiasts who met at the recently held Meat Expo in Nairobi. From different methods of cooking to preservation and adding value, a lot was on the menu at the event.
For two days last week, meat lovers, producers, enthusiasts, traders and consumers congregated at the Kenyatta Internation Convention Centre for the first meat expo.
It was a sizzling experience as they sampled various technologies, meat cooking styles, value addition products and preservation, transportation and packaging techniques.
At the Urban Fresh Ventures Ltd stand, June Gathoni, the director, showcased a meat presentation technique that prolongs the shelflife of produce through smoking.
The meat smoker uses briquettes, firewood or charcoal, and can be used to dry animal and fish meat.
“Smoking is done after removing all the internal organs. For fish, one can remove the skin or leave it. The process
takes about 24 hours,” Gathoni stated.
Thereafter, one must do moisture tests to check the level and if at about 12 percent, the product is vacuum packed and
dispatched to the markets.
“Smoked catfish can last without refrigeration for two months. If refrigerated, it goes for up to one year,” she revealed, adding that no preservatives or additives are needed.
Through the technology Gathoni said she has been able to export fish to markets in Middle East and Europe.
“By smoking, frying. packaging and delivering, we have seen the uptake of catfish go up as the market has become
reliable.” Gathori explained, noting that the organisation also offers the service at Ksh 20 per fish.
As concerns over animal welfare rises globally, meat traders must practice safe handling production, transportation and slaughtering of animals. Ngare Narok Meat Industries Ltd and the Kenya Meat Commission (KMC) explained some of the best practices when dealing with livestock at various levels.
Rhoda Mbogo, the team leader at Ngare Narok Meat Industries Ltd, which is based in Laikipia County, explained that upon arrival in an abattoir animals must rest for between 24 and48 hours, given some little feeds and water:
“They must be inspected by the vets to ensure the meat reaching the table is safe. Slaughtering should be done
through stunning and the carcass allowed to bleed properly so that blood does not remain in meat leading to ac-
cumulation of pathogens and bacteria.”
When subjected to severe pain during slaughtering, animals release some hormones which in turn affect the quality
The carcasses should thus be hanged to allow hydration, what enables muscles to break leading to tender and soft
meat. Meat, according to Rhoda, should be vacuum-packed to prevent entrance of air and contamination.
She said that when trading in meat, one must invest in cold chain facilities as that enables one to deliver quality
and safe meat to the table.
At the KMC stand, beef, goat and lamb were some of the meats consumers sampled. “Our intention is to ensure that meat is produced in a safe way, in accordance with international standards,” said Lydia Mandila, the sales and marketing manager.
Milibag Rabbits Farm, based in Bamburi, Mombasa, was at the expo to showcase various value added products from
rabbits. The farm that also breeds the animals started about five years ago and currently has 385 parent stock said
Justin Magiri, a representative. The firm processes sausages and bunny burgers and also has an abattoir for slaughtering.
According to Magiri, rabbit meat sausages and burgers are processed using organic herbs such as parsley and rose
Njoki Muriuki, the founder and chief executive of Kijo Gardens. which makes chilli sauces, noted that for delicious
meat, one needs quality species. Besides chilli, she uses lemons, ginger, garlic. honey and canola oil to make her products. She has contracted soo farmers to supply her chilli.
The expo, whose theme was safe and quality meat for nutrition, health and wealth creation, was organised by the Nation Media Group Ple (NMG) and its partners The State Department for Livestock, Kenya Markets Trust (KMT), The
Retail Trade Association of Kenya (Retrak). Meat and Livestock Exporters Industry Council of Kenya (Kemleic) and
BY SAMMY WAWERU