Consumers also blasted government for its failure to monitor and control the industry.
Residents believe that poverty and illiteracy are the main reasons for people buying cheap meat on local markets – which is often expired and sometimes rotten.
“Expired meat makes people sick and creates lots of problem and government must prevent those who import expired meat,” said Nadir Khan, one local consumer.
“Most of the people don’t know about expired dates and they are also poor; a number of butchers cheat them and sell them expired meat,” said Sayed Fridon, another Kabul consumer.
Meanwhile a number of importers acknowledge that a huge amount of meat smuggled into the country comes in expired or rotten and have called on government to take steps to prevent this.
“This meat is rotten and is smuggled in from Pakistan and those who smuggle the meat don’t have cold storage facilities. They sell the meat to shops which then sell to the people,” said Fahim Amiri, the head of animal products import union.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigations said about 2,000kgs of expired or rotten meat, chicken and sausages are being sold on open markets at any given time.
“We have warned eight shopkeepers and we fine them and we have closed 12 shops that were caught a second time (for selling expired products),” said Lotfullah Rashid, spokesman for the ministry of agriculture and irrigation.