Kenya’s New Standards to Safeguard Food Products for Consumers

The Kenya Bureau of Standards has enforced five new guidelines to improve the safety and quality of food additives in the Kenyan market.

According to Bernard Njiraini, KEBS Managing Director, the newly approved guidelines would serve as a foundation for determining the quality, purity and safety of food additives. This is critical as the first step toward ensuring their safe use as directed by the General Standard for Food Additives.

Njiraini emphasizes that, food additives are technologically inevitable in food production with a focus on justifiable safe usage necessitating the development of quality and safety specifications. This would make trading easier while also ensuring that there is enough food as the economy grows.

Reports show that the food industry’s demand for food additives has increased. This has called for the development of standards for widely used additives in order to assess their quality and safety for consumers. The use of nonnutritive sweeteners in foods and beverages especially soft drinks for special dietary purposes has increased over the years marking an increase in trade.  

Based on the increased use of additives in Kenya and the East African Region, these new requirements are first in priority list thus promoting trade.

For products such as baking yeast, baking powder, sucralose, aspartame, and saccharin, these standards provide the criteria for determining their purity, safety, and quality parameters.

“Food additives will also be produced, prepared and handled in accordance with code of practice for hygiene in the food industry which lays emphasis to both Good Manufacturing Practice and use of food safety systems such as Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), thus further assuring consumers of the quality and safety of what they consume,” Bernard Njiraini.

The standards are intended to be used by food industry stakeholders such as quality assurance agencies, industry, and laboratories. They would also help local businesses and the government’s goal of increasing local product manufacturing for economic development.