NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 23 — The latest directive by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) recalling ten cooking oil brands from the retail market has left questions unanswered after it emerged affected products remained available in retail outlets.
In a letter earlier addressed to the Retail Traders Association of Kenya on Wednesday, KEBS recalled the edible oil brands citing non-compliance to standards following sampling from different outlets within the country.
“This is to notify your members to recall these brands and remove them from the supply chain from your members’ outlets across the country,” Peter Kaigwara, KEBS Director for Market Surveillance, stated.
A spot check by Capital News indicated that despite the agency’s order about the suspension of the oils, retailers retained them with some selling on offer.
The affected brands include Bahari Fry, Fresh Fri, Fresh Fri with Garlic Oil, Fry Mate and Gold n pure Olive Gold.
KEBS said the edible oils and cooking fat brands failed to meet requirements of the Standards Act and were therefore unfit for human consumption.
For instance, in one of the retail outlets, a 3-litre container of Rina cooking oil, also suspended, was selling at a discounted price of Sh294.
Others withdrawn from the market include Postman, Salit, Tilly and Top Fry.
KEBS had required the withdrawn products to undergo recertification process before returning to the market.
Manufacturers were given a window to put in place measures to ensure that the products are compliant with the respective standards.
“Kindly note this is not a ban on the brands but a temporary suspension to facilitate protection of the consumers from potentially unsafe products,” Kaigwara said.
Retailers were further directed to ensure that they purchase, sell and stock products that have been verified through an SMS short code to check on validity.
To verify the product certification quality mark, retailers are required to send the code numbers underneath the standardization mark logo to 20023 to get the valid status of the product.
“If the details are different, invalid or not traceable to the platform, retailers should not purchase, stock or offer for sale the products but instead report to KEBS through toll number 1545,” Kaigwara noted.