Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has ordered at least 10 cooking oil and edible fats brands off the markets after failing a standards test.
KEBS says that the brands from Bidco Africa, Pwani Oil Products Ltd, Kapa Oil Refineries Ltd and Menengai Oil Refineries Ltd failed to meet the required standards as specified in the fortified edible oils and fats specifications. The standard specifies the requirements and methods of sampling and testing for fortified edible oils and fats intended for human consumption.
The affected brands include Bahari Fry, Gold and Pure Olive produced by Bidco Africa, while Pwani Oil was ordered to withdraw Fresh Fri, Fresh Fri with Garlic and Fry Mate. The others are Postman, Rina, Salit Edible Oils and Tilly Edible Fat belonging to Pwani as well as Top Fry of Menengai Oil Refineries.
The bureau says that samples were taken from the retail outlets and were assessed against the requirements of the Standards Act, and in its notice to the traders, the agency said that the products posed health risks if consumed.
KEBS' director for market surveillance Peter Kaigwara said the brands have not been banned but will be removed from the markets and undergo verification before being restocked.
“Kindly note that this is not a ban... but a temporary suspension to facilitate the protection of consumers from potentially unsafe products, safeguard the economic interests of manufacturers of compliant brands and allow the manufacturers of the non-compliant brand to initiate and put in place effective corrective action under KEBS supervision to ensure that the non-compliant brands comply,” the statement reads in part.
Sam Watasa, the head of the Uganda Consumers' Protection Association says they are making arrangements to check selected outlets for the presence of any of these products in Ugandan shops, supermarkets and other outlets. He also asked the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) to ensure that such products have been identified and removed from market shelves.
In August last year, KEBS banned the sale of 27 brands of meal flour citing a lack of compliance with the standardized requirements by the regulators.