Kebs bans 7 peanut butter brands over high aflatoxin levels


A Kebs employee at a Mombasa laboratory. PHOTO | LABAN WALLOGA | NMG

The Kenya Bureau of Standard (Kebs) has ordered manufacturers to recall seven more peanut butter brands from the market citing high levels of aflatoxin.

The agency instructed Trufoods to recall its “Zesta”, Jetlak Foods to suspend sale of “Nuteez” and Truenutz Kenya to revoke sale of its ‘True Nuts’.

Others are Supacosm Products (Supa Meal), Nature’s Way Health (Sue’s Naturals), Fressy Food Company (Fressy) and Target Distributors (Nutty by Nature).

“Their levels of aflatoxin is higher than the maximum limit allowed by the Standard,” read a statement from the agency.

Aflatoxin is a class of toxic compounds produced by certain moulds found in food. It can cause liver damage and cancer.

“Consequently, Kebs has also suspended these companies’ permits which allows them to use the Standardisation mark.”

In the notice issued Monday, Kebs did not indicate the extent to which each of the products had breached the legal aflatoxin levels.

However, the Kenya Standard, ‘KS EAS 60: 2013, a legal specification for peanut butter, states that the maximum total aflatoxin content, should be 15 parts per billion (ppb), and gives maximum value for aflatoxin B1 5 ppb maximum.

The suspension comes barely a few months after Kebs lifted an earlier ban on Nuteez-branded peanut butter over aflatoxin contamination.

Kebs said Nuteez had been allowed to make a comeback after inspecting its facilities and ensuring measures were put in place to safeguard products for human consumption.