Editorials

Step up goods safety watch

ceres

Packets of Ceres apple juice. PHOTO | COURTESY

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Summary

  • The Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) should be alert to avoid instances where goods unfit for consumption end up on the shelves.
  • South African food and beverage manufacturer Pioneer Foods has recalled its Ceres apple juice brands that sold in Kenya and other markets in the region.

Kenya needs to build capacity for detecting defective and contaminated products in the market to protect consumers.

The Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) should be alert to avoid instances where goods unfit for consumption end up on the shelves.

South African food and beverage manufacturer Pioneer Foods has recalled its Ceres apple juice brands that sold in Kenya and other markets in the region.

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) Competition Commission on Wednesday said Pioneer Foods had informed it that the affected juice brands were imported and marketed in several countries, including Kenya.

The recalled brands were found to have elevated levels of patulin — a fruit-based mould which when consumed can cause nausea, gastrointestinal disturbances, and vomiting, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

If the company had not raised the issue, Kenyan consumers would have not known that they have probably been drinking apple juice with high levels of patulin.

That the product ended up in shoppers’ baskets shows that Kebs’ surveillance is weak.