Twelve vendors have been arrested in a crackdown on food handlers operating in Nairobi without certificates of good health.
City Health and Inspectorate officers arrested seven in Kamkunji and five in Embakasi.
Nairobi County Health executive Mohamed Dagane said City Hall had early this month given all food vendors, eateries and other food outlets operating in the county two weeks to re-apply for inspection.
He said inspectorate officers, in conjunction with health officials, have been conducting daily inspection of food outlets in the city.
“No one will operate or sell food without being inspected. We made this resolve and we want to effect it to the latter to avoid any health problems now and in the future,” said Mr Dagane Thursday.
The arrests come just days after the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) put the county government in the spotlight for failing to test public food handlers in the capital for almost a year despite collecting the requisite fees.
KAM regional co-ordinator for Nairobi Robert Juma said no public food handler had been issued with a certificate of good health for almost a year as the tests are rarely done by the county’s public health officers.
Mr Juma said this was despite the public health officers demanding that one complies with the six-month testing cycle by paying the usual testing fees with those who fail to pay being arrested.
He also faulted City Hall for its lack of capacity to test, track and have proof that one had been tested, saying the county government has not been conducting the tests and issuing valid medical certificates of good health.
“There are only four licensed public laboratories in the county capable of carrying out the testing. They are already overstretched, meaning that foods consumed in Nairobi are handled by people who are not tested,” he said.