KEBS warns supermarkets illegally repackaging sugar, rice and cooking fat

KEBS warns supermarkets illegally repackaging sugar, rice and cooking fat

Traders involved in the sale of repackaged food products without a Standardization Mark Permit risk seizure of their stock and prosecution in a court of law, the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has warned.

KEBS boss Bernard Njiraini expressed concern that various trading outlets, especially supermarkets, are illegally repackaging food products such as sugar, rice and cooking fat.

“This is in contravention of the Standards Act, Cap 496, Laws of Kenya that requires persons involved in repackaging of products to acquire the KEBS Standardization Mark permit,” he warned.

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 warned that any person who contravenes any of the provisions of subsections of the Standards Act, Cap 496, of the Laws of Kenya mentioned above or fails to comply with any conditions in a permit, shall be guilty of an offence.

“We encourage the general public to “Wajibika Na KEBS” and be on the lookout for products suspected to be substandard and officers suspected to lack integrity,” the KEBS statement adds.

Wajibika Na KEBS is a program that allows the public to report cases about substandard products and hindrance to service provision by any KEBS official.

KEBS advises consumers to verify the S Mark permit on a product by sending the code underneath the S Mark to 20023 (SM#Code).

And to verify the identity of a KEBS official, one can send an sms to 20023 (HR#Staff Number).