RESIDENTS in Lesotho’s capital Maseru may have consumed at least 2.7 tonnes of kangaroo meat passed off as beef, local media reported.
The Lesotho Times said a local meat wholesaler was allegedly supplied with five tonnes of the dodgy meat which was mixed with beef.
Small business development minister Chalane Phori told the newspaper that more than half of the de-boned meat may have been consumed by the public before it was withdrawn from shelves.
‘The ministry found that about 2.7 tonnes of the meat have been sold to consumers out of the total of five tonnes imported from South Africa by Econo Foods,’ he said.
Econo Foods Lesotho’s Cape Town supplier claimed the meat was pure beef, but laboratory tests in South Africa confirmed it was mixed with kangaroo meat trimmings, the Lesotho Times reported.
Efforts were underway to ensure that butcheries which had purchased the meat from Econo Foods returned the product, which Phori said may have entered Lesotho after the temporary lifting of a red-meat import ban during the 2019 festive season.
The meat could have been from kangaroos killed during bushfires that ravaged Australia last November, he added.
Econo Foods management reportedly became suspicious of the meat because of its foul smell and immediately stopped sales and sent it for laboratory tests.