The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) on Wednesday cautioned retailers including supermarkets against repackaging food products without a standardization mark permit warning they risk stock seizure or prosecution.
KEBS Managing Director Lt Col (Rtd) Bernard Njiraini in a statement said the regulator has observed that various trading outlets, especially supermarkets, are illegally repackaging food products such as sugar, rice, and cooking fat without meeting the requirements of product certification that would assure quality and safety of the products
‘This is in contravention of the Standards Act, Cap 496, Laws of Kenya that requires persons involved in the repackaging of products to acquire the KEBS Standardization Mark permit,” warned Njiraini.
The Standardization Mark (SM) permit or the Diamond Mark of Quality (DM) is issued under the KEBS product certification scheme to products that comply with the relevant Kenya Standard. Imports are also issued with a Unique Consignment Reference (UCR) number.
All repackaged products are also required to comply with the labelling specifications of the respective Kenya Standards.
Important information that must be incorporated on food product labels include – the name of the product, list of ingredients, net content, name and address of manufacturer, country of origin, date marking, and instructions for use and storage conditions.
KEBS has been pro-active in warning Kenyans of the ploriferation of sub-standard or presence of goods without standardization marks in the market for the past one year.
On September 15, KEBS confiscated 583 boxes of substandard cotton earbuds made of wooden stem.
The earbuds being sold under the brand name Chico were seized in Naivasha and Nyahururu for not meeting the specifications of Kenya Standard KS 2245 that requires cotton earbuds to be made of a polyethylene stem that does not break when bent to approximately 45º.
“Wood stick earbuds are a health and safety concern as they tend to break and splinter and may therefore injure the ear canal,” said Lt Col (Rtd.) Bernard Njiraini, Managing Director, KEBS.