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KENYA: Kebs bans 5 maize flour brands over high aflatoxin levels

November 2019 DailyNation; The Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) on Saturday banned five maize flour brands, saying their aflatoxin levels were higher than the maximum limit, going by Kenya’s standards.

The five are Dola by Kitui Four Mills, Kifaru by Alpha Grain Limited, Starehe by Pan African Grain Millers, 210 Two Ten by Kenblest Limited and Jembe by Kensal Rise Limited.

Kebs said the ban followed market surveillance and multiple reports from the public.

“Kebs has noted that some brands of maize meal products offered for sale do not meet requirements,” it said in a statement.

“The permits have been suspended and the manufacturers instructed to discontinue manufacturing or offering for sale the affected maize meal products.”

SEIZURES

The bureau further announced that it had seized some of the banned products and instructed supermarkets countrywide to get rid of them.

It said substandard products found on sale will be seized for destruction at the expense of the owner and that legal consequences will follow.

“The manufacturers are required to recall all the substandard products and institute corrective actions,” the statement said.

Once the companies take the corrective measures, Kebs will confirm that standards have been met before the ban is lifted.

PEANUT BUTTER

On November 4, Kebs suspended seven peanut butter brands and instructed the manufacturers to discontinue production and recall products that had already been supplied for sale.

The seven were True Nuts (Truenutz Kenya), Fressy (Fressy Food Company Limited), Supa Meal (Supacosm Products Limited), Nuteez (Jetlak Foods Limited), Sue’s Naturals (Nature’s Way Health), Zesta (Truefoods Limited) and Nutty by Nature (Target Distributors).

Kebs said the suspension followed tests that confirmed high aflatoxin levels.

The companies’ licences were also suspended.

THE PROCEDURE

Kebs consistently monitors and tests products to ensure compliance with Kenya’s standards through its market surveillance department.

It conducts a product certification scheme that requires manufacturers to implement supervision and control during manufacturing to ensure quality of products.

This is done through an agreement between the manufacturer and the organisation, for compliance with standards.

Kebs issues a permit to use the standardisation mark after undertaking factory inspection and testing product samples.

“The certified manufacturer is then required to adhere to the certification scheme of supervision throughout the validity period of one year.”

Kebs informed the public of the ‘Wajibika Na Kebs programme that allows them to report cases of substandard products.

The public can verify whether the S-Mark permit on a product is valid by sending the code underneath the S-Mark to 20023 (SM#Code) to get product manufacturing details.

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