The Kenya Bureau of Standards has suspended 7 Peanut Butter Products over high aflatoxin content. Aflatoxins are a family of toxins produced by certain fungi found on agricultural crops such as maize and peanuts.
The bureau also ordered the manufacturers to discontinue and effectively recall the substandard goods following surveillance on peanut butter in the country.
KEBS has suspended the following products :
- True Nuts by Truenutz Kenya.
- Fressy by Fressy Food Company Limited.
- Supa Meal by Supacosm Products Limited.
- Nuteez by Jetlak Food Limited.
- Sue’s Naturals by Nature’s Way Health.
- Zesta by Trufoods Limited.
- Nutty by Nature manufactured by Target Distributors.
“The suspensions follow test results undertaken by KEBS, which confirms that their levels of aflatoxin are higher than the maximum limit allowed by the Standard. The Standard KS EAS 60: 2013 Peanut Butter Specification requires total aflatoxin content to stay below 15 parts per billion,” read a notice from KEBS.
Additionally, KEBS has also withdrawn the company permits, which will now bar the food processors from using the Standardization mark. The manufacturers are required to engage in corrective action in compliance with quality standards.
“The manufacturers should undertake corrective actions in their processes to ensure that their products comply with the quality specifications. The suspension will cease after they make the necessary corrections,” added the notice.
Meanwhile, the Bureau of Standards is working with the Ministry of Agriculture to solve the mystery behind high aflatoxin in unprocessed nuts.
In response, Zesta Peanut Butter Manufacturer Trufoods acknowledged the concerns from KEBS regarding their product. A statement from the company reveals that Trufoods will co-operate with KEBS to investigate the root cause of the aflatoxins in the peanuts.
“As a responsible and conscientious organization, we care about our customers and wish to assure the public that even as we recall the products from the market, we continue to cooperate with KEBS officials to conduct more tests to ensure that we get to the root cause of aflatoxins across the supply chain. And, most importantly have it addressed conclusively for the safety and benefit of our customers.” reads the statement.
Trufoods also promised to come back with a clarification on the aflatoxin content, asking its customers to be patient meanwhile.
This article was first published on 4/11/2019 and later updated on 6/11/2019 to include comments from Trufoods regarding the ban on its Zesta Peanut Butter