Kenyan Roadside Foods you should avoid buying in Nairobi: Reasons to be worried

Roadside Foods to avoid buying in nairobi: Tales of roadside food vendors using unhealthy ingredients or taboo meat to prepare delicacies for unsuspecting customers are not new. Not long ago, authorities arrested a man who had been selling samosas made from cat meat around City Hall, Nairobi. At the time of arrest, the young man had a cat he had already skinned.

food to avoid in nairobi

This man was arrested for using cat meat to prepare samosa. Photo: Courtesy

Here are common foods and snacks you should be careful when purchasing unless you do not mind a running stomach.


Samosas are a popular delicacy easily found in high-end hotels, roadside eateries and ghetto alleys. Some vendors walk around hawking them around populated spots.

Samosas are made from a pocket of thin wheat dough filled with pre-cooked green peas (ndengu) or minced meat and spices.

Unscrupulous venders, such as the one arrested, can use meat from animals typically considered a taboo to eat in Kenya. These include dogs, cats, donkeys, snakes, frogs and some types of birds.


Mutura is made from meat and spices that are stuffed into intestines, mostly a cow’s, and roasted on a charcoal grill.

It is then served with kachumbari (mixture of chopped tomatoes, onions and pepper). Like samosas, food vendors may choose to cut costs by preparing the delicacy using meat from the abovementioned taboo animals.


Mshikaki, or in plural mishikaki, are basically pieces of meat on a wire or wooden stick roasted over charcoal grill.

Like with samosa and mutura, it is difficult to determine the source of meat used to prepare this delicacy.

While it is difficult to ascertain the quality of food your vendor is selling, it is prudent to buy from someone you have known for some time.

Keep off unfamiliar food vendors unless you can see them prepare the food hygienically.


Locally, or homemade fruit juices are popular among folk who consider themselves healthy eaters.

Unlike commercially produced ones that are subject to oversight from government authorities, those on roadside kiosks do not pass any health check.

The customer has no way of knowing the fruits blended are fresh or on different stages or rot. Neither can one ascertain whether the water used is clean.

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Where possible, it is advisable to have your juice blended on the spot.

Disclaimer: This post does not in anyway discourage readers from indulging on the occasional roadside delicacy.

Rather, it is just a note of caution given that there are unscrupulous business persons whose last concern is your health.

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