The Ministry of Health and Sanitation, human right and civil society groups have joined calls for the immediate investigation of Universal Impex at Murray Town Road for importing rotten chicken to be sold to consumers.
The Ministry of Health and Sanitation has in a release cautioned the general public that the frozen chicken, FRANGOSUL, product of Brazil has been condemned as unfit for human consumption.
Health Ministry warned in the release “do not eat poisoned chicken in the markets additionally stating that chicken food poisoning, which is caused by two types of bacteria called CAMPYLOBACTER and SALMONELLA.”
Some of the imported chicken were confiscated by Standards Bureau and Health officers while on sale in community markets when they discovered that the chicken is not fit for human consumption.
The Sierra Leone Police have arrested over 25 people allegedly in possession of the rotten chicken in homes, and major markets like Hagan Street, Dove Cut and other areas.
The large crowd that swarmed the dumpsite for the rotten chicken overwhelmed armed police and Health Inspectors.
The crowd was so excited that they held bags, shovel, pickaxe and cutlasses moving towards the firing of tear gas and rubber bullets at the dump site.
According to Police sources several tear gas canisters were fired but it did not deter the people from digging the dumpsite for the rotten chicken.
According to an eye witness, Mohamed Kamara, a scavenger of the dump site people were in mad rush to dig out the crushed rotten chicken in cartoons, covered with thick black mud amidst piles of garbage with a disgusting odor.
He said “some of the chicken legs and wings were muddy in a horrible waste”
He said he also joined the crowed in digging the dumpsite with his bare hands and grabbed one cartoon that had been crushed by the bull dozer.
“Due to mechanical failure of the bull dozer, most of the chicken was not properly crushed and buried”, Kamara said.
Many people carted away with huge cartoons of the chicken especially those living in shacks around the dumpsite, he said
According to reports the chicken is being sold to the public in other community markets and a large consignment is still unaccounted for
Health Ministry has assured the public in a release that they are bracing up for any outbreak that may occur and calls on the public to report any ailment to the nearest Health Center.