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Kenyan official blames trans-fats, aflatoxin for low-quality of food products

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Christian Fernsby |
Sicily Kariuki
African businesses   Sicily Kariuki, cabinet secretary of the Ministry of Health

A Kenyan health offical blamed industry-produced trans-fats, aflatoxin and presence of pesticide residues for low-quality of food products.


Sicily Kariuki, cabinet secretary of the Ministry of Health, said the presence of veterinary drug residues and food adulteration are also a concern to the government.

"We are conducting risk categorization of food business operators into high-, medium- and low-risk bands to inform frequency of inspection and quality checks as part of population protection," Kariuki told a meeting in Nairobi marking the World Food Safety Day.

"We encourage producers to grow safe food, transporters to keep food safe and processors to produce safe and nutritious products to enable consumers to access safe and quality food," she said.

Kariuki said Kenya is putting emphasis on food safety since it has been identified as a crucial pillar to achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Rudi Eggers, Kenya representative of World Health Organization, called on Kenya to put in place effective regulations to eliminate industrially produced trans-fats by 2023 so as to save people from dying early.

"Unsaturated fats (liquid oils), peanut butter and margarines creates trans-fats that increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases," he said.

Gabriel Rugalema, Food and Agriculture Organization representative in Kenya, said safe food culture should be inculcated right from farmer's level to sellers and consumers.

"Safe food reduces the disease burden, hence the need to ensure that populations access quality food," he said.


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