Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has confirmed the availability of aflatoxin in the Nuteez brand further confirming fears of Kenyans who have consumed the product for years.
According to KEBS, The Kenya Standard, KS EAS 60: 2013, Peanut Butter – Specification states that the maximum total aflatoxin content is 15 parts per billion (ppb).
“Jetlak Foods Ltd applied for renewal of the standardization mark permit. KEBS undertook an analysis of the product and after confirmation that the firm complied with all the requirement of the standards issued them with a permit for use of standardization mark permit with effect from 11th October 2018,” said KEBS.
KEBS undertook an inspection of the factory and as a cautionary measure, seized all the peanut butter at the factory. Samples were taken for analysis.
‘’Tests undertaken on the samples have confirmed that the level of aflatoxin is 25 parts per billion (ppb), which is higher than the maximum limit allowed by the standard’’ stated the Acting Managing Director, Mr. Nguyo Bernard.
Consequently, KEBS has also suspended the permit to the company that allows it to use the standardization mark for its Nuteez brand and the firm directed to recall all the products in the market.
In the last 7 months, KEBS has been undertaking market surveillance of peanut butter. 54 samples of peanut butter have been collected from various points of sale and manufacturers from 1st July 2018 to date and tested.
The following products were also tested and noted to have exceeded the maximum limit for aflatoxins and have had their permits suspended:
Manufacturers whose product permits have been suspended are instructed to discontinue the manufacturing or offering for sale of all substandard peanut butter. Additionally, the manufacturers should recall all the substandard products and institute corrective actions. KEBS will continue to undertake surveillance of the products at the factory and market to ensure that the public is protected from harmful products.
KEBS is working with all government institutions in the peanut butter value chain to resolve the root cause of the problem of aflatoxin in unprocessed groundnuts. In this regard, KEBS will continue to work with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock & Fisheries and the Ministry of Health (Office of the Director of Public Health).