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Remmy Butia July 25, 2019

PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIALS DESTROY PEANUT BUTTER SEIZED IN JANUARY OVER AFLATOXIN POISONING

Public health officials in Nandi County on Thursday destroyed a consignment of Nuteez Peanut butter seized earlier in January after they obtained court orders.

Nandi County Public Health Officials, had gone to court after the National Public Health Laboratory Services examined that Jetlak Company’s Nuteez Peanut butter samples collected from Nandi supermarkets and shops were condemned and unfit for human consumption.

The analysis by the Government Chemist found that the Nuteez peanut butter contained high levels aflatoxins.

Kapsabet resident magistrate D.A Alego on March 20, ordered that the Nuteez peanut butter seized from Naivas Supermarket, Tiryo Supermarket, Delta Supermarket – Kapsabet and Nandi Hills, Jubilee Merchant Wholesalers, Corner Shop Mosoriot be destroyed through incineration at the Kapsabet County Referral Hospital in the presence of the Public Health officials, Court representatives, OCS Kapsabet and the County Head of Enforcement.

A certificate of analysis had showed that Nuteez peanut butter failed to pass intricate test analysis conducted on a sample taken to the government chemist.

In the report, the analysis noted that the sample was not fit for human consumption as it had surpassed the required limit of aflatoxin allowed in such products.

According to the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), aflatoxins are toxic chemicals produced as by-products by fungi (moulds) that grow on maize, cottonseed, groundnuts and other food crops.

People can be exposed to aflatoxins by eating contaminated plant products or by consuming meat or dairy products from animals that ate contaminated feed. Exposure to aflatoxins is associated with an increased risk of liver cancer.

In April this year, Kebs reinstated Jetlak company’s standardisation mark permit No. 965 for Nuteez, saying it will continue monitoring the “effectiveness” of the company’s controls for the peanut butter through market surveillance, factory inspections and testing.

Kenya is one of the world’s hotspots for aflatoxins, with what is believed to be the highest incidence of acute toxicity ever documented.

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