Several butcheries in Zimbabwe’s capital Harare on Thursday were shut down and some butchers were arrested on Thursday for allegedly using embalming fluid to preserve their meat.

The butcheries were reported to be using small quantities of the chemical used to preserve corpses to keep their meat fresh during load shedding.

The state-run Herald newspaper said the affected butcheries were in several low-income Harare suburbs, including Mabvuku, Dzivarasekwa, and Budiriro. It said meat confiscated from the shops was sent for laboratory tests.

The clampdown by police and city health officials came after reports earlier this month claimed that some butchers were sprinkling formalin on their meat to make it look fresh.

The chemical was normally used in mortuaries to preserve corpses.

It’s alleged that some of the butcheries were doing this to get around the problem of 18-hour power cuts that have affected most Harare suburbs for the past few months.

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