Commerce

Agency warns against purchasing the brands as they have high levels of aflatoxin

Monday, August 23rd, 2021 00:00 | By
Maize farming. Photo/Courtesy

Households are likely to be hit with a shortage of the maize flour and high prices after Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) banned the sale of 27 brands.

The agency warned Kenyans against purchasing the brands as they are unfit for human consumption due to high levels of aflatoxin.

“This follows a market surveillance and multiple reports from the public,” it said in a statement issued on Saturday and directed the manufacturers of the banned brands to recall their products from shelves.

The bureau said the various commodities that have been analysed in accredited laboratories had more than the stipulated level of aflatoxin of 10 parts per billion (ppp) and thus failed entirely to meet outlined quality standards.

Some of the banned maize meal brands are Pembe, budget, equatorial ugali afya,fahall, family, riri, sima tamu, tupike,, ugali bora, unga sana, uwezo and ziwa. 

The maize brands blacklisted include; Budget, Equatorial Ugali Afya, Fahali, Family and Pembe flour.

Others are Riri, Sima Tamu, Tupike, Ugali Bora, Unga Sawa, Uwezo and Ziwa.

Blacklisted porridge brands include Soko Wimbi Mix, Winnies Pure Health-Ugali Afya, Greenhouse Pride Polished Wimbi with Milk Powder, Golden Porridge Flour Sour Uji Mix, Najah Nutrition Food Family Porridge, Natasha Porridge, Excellent Nutritious Porridge.

Composite flour brands

Others are; Split Peas Flour Unga Wa Bhajia, Generation Wimbi Porridge Flour, Famila Natures Food The Original Ujimix (sour porridge), Rest Food Products Afya Bora Kinara Porridge, Narisha Plus, Rimwambi Soya Porridge Mix and Wimbi Safi Marss.

United Grain Millers Association  chairman Ken Nyaga said that maize supplies currently in the market have high moisture which is increasing their cost of production and the same extends to the consumers.

“Further, imports from some segments in the region are of low quality and equally are suspected of high levels of the food poisonous,” he said on phone. 

Nyaga said even though the percentage of the banned brands is small compared with over 300 maize meal and composite flour brands in the market, consumers, especially in the counties will be strained in terms of prices.

Kebs director in charge of market surveillance Peter Kaigwara said that the brands failed the tests on total aflatoxins which should be 10ppp and aflatoxin B one which is more harmful ought to have a minimum of 5ppp.

  Equally, some manufacturers, after investigations, were said to be selling the brands that did not have the East African Community standardisation mark permit. 

“We issued the notice to the manufacturers to withdraw the commodities from the market until they adhered to collection action,”  said Kaigwara.  

“The producers are expected to relook at their processing systems and to find out the gaps that could have led to presence of aflatoxin in the final products under the product certification scheme,” he added.

Kaigwara said manufacturers of maize meal and composite flour brands failed to adhere to outlined standards on maize meal and composite flour –KUEAS 768 of 2012 and KSEAS 782 of 2019, respectively.

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