News Detail

Remmy Butia February 22, 2023


CAP 254 of Food, Drugs and Chemical Substances states that any person who sells, prepares, packages, conveys, stores or displays for sale any food under insanitary conditions shall be guilty of an offence.
Street food vending operated by food operators that do not possess a health permit pose a serious public health risk to residents and visitors in Kapsabet town and its environs.
It is unlawful for any vendor to sell, display or offer for sale any food, beverage, goods or merchandise without first obtaining a public health license from the Government.
The Department of Health and Sanitation expressly finds that the vending of produce, prepared or prepackaged foods, goods, wares, and/or services, under certain circumstances, on public streets, sidewalks poses unsafe conditions and dangers to the public health, safety and welfare of the residents of Kapsabet Town.
In this regard, Emgwen Sub County health officials have issued a warning to residents about eating food from unlicensed street vendors in Kapsabet Town.
Further, the Public Health officials together with the Municipal Management are putting on notice all unlicensed food vendors.
Speaking during a meeting between the Kapsabet Municipal Manager the Department of Health of Health Officials from Emgwen Sub County, the Municipal Manager Richard Ng’eny said that people are taking a health risk when they purchase food from vendors who are not licensed and regulated by the Municipality.
It is required of all mobile food vendors to get licensed by the Health Department if they want to sell food to the public.
Vendors are required to follow food handling and safety standards as set by the Public Health Act. Included in this act is a list of food handling tips, including proper hand washing stations, hot and cold temperature controls, measures to prevent cross contamination, proper food storage and food handling certification.
In addition to this, the Health Department looks at where the food is being prepared to make sure there are no unsanitary practices taking place before being sold to the public.
“When we go to some of the places that are prepping the food, they are doing it in the backyard or garage. We are seeing really unsanitary conditions,” said Bittok, Emgwen Sub County Public Health Officer.
In order for a food vendor to become licensed, it is a requirement to obtain a food handling certificate from the Public Health.
Despite the requirements, there are some who choose not to get licensed and are still operating and selling food. In Nandi County, it is a misdemeanor violation to operate as a food vendor without a permit, subject up to a fine.
Inspectors with the Health Department are set to go out on a regular basis, searching for those vendors operating without a permit. The health inspectors will issue cease-and-desist orders to unpermitted food vendors within the town.
The County Department of Health is working with Kapsabet Municipality to protect the safety of food products that are supplied to consumers within the municipality by providing a permitting and inspection process for food vendors.
Present at the meeting were the Principal Public Health Officer Ray Sowon and Kapsabet Head of Enforcement Nick Kigen.

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