Expert speaks out on use of formalin to preserve meat
KAMPALA (DAILY MONITOR) – Reports that butchers in Kampala treat their meat with formalin, a preservative for dead bodies, has been making rounds for years.
There is also information that dairy products have not been spared.
Our reporter went out to find out what effects it has on human life.
The current market price for a kilogramme of beef is Shs10,000 while a litre of milk goes for between Shs2,500 and Shs3,000.
These two products are highly perishable and this is the reason why some businesspeople have opted to use preservatives to give them a longer shelf life.
Formalin is a liquid drug manufactured to preserve dead tissues by killing the bacterium that causes decay.
It is used together with other chemicals to embalm dead bodies.
Professor John Muyonga, the Dean of studies at the school of food, technology, nutrition and bio-engineering at Makerere university says formalin has a pungent smell that is detectable and if one uses it to preserve food, it will be in very low quantities that can sometimes be unnoticeable.
He also tells us how these people could possibly be using it.
Does the formalin have a visible effect on the food on which it is used?
Professor Muyonga says it is only those with keen attention to detail that can notice.
He has advice on the many possible ways food can be preserved without the use of drugs.
Formalin is easily available on the market, the reason it is easy to access.
Our reporter was able to purchase a bottle from one of the pharmacies in town.