KEBS suspends permits for ‘Nuteez’ peanut butter and two more brands
The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has withdrawn the permit of Jetlak Foods Ltd and directed the company to withdraw from the market all its peanut butter brand ‘Nuteez’ after it was detected to contain high levels of aflatoxin.
In a statement issued on Monday, KEBS said it had conducted an inspection of the Jetlak Foods Ltd factory and seized all the peanut butter at the factory for analysis, with the products being found to be unsafe for consumption.
“Tests undertaken on the samples have confirmed that the level of aflatoxin is 2.13 parts per billion (ppb), which is higher than the maximum limit allowed by the standard,” said the Acting KEBS Managing Director, Mr. Nguyo Bernard.
“Consequently, KEBS has also suspended the permit to the company that allows it to use the standardization mark for its Nuteez brand and the firm directed to recall all the products in the market.”
KEBS further says it has suspended permits to peanut butter brands by Triclover and Mother Nature’s Product which were also tested and allegedly noted to have exceeded the maximum limit for aflatoxin.
According to KEBS, the level of aflatoxin in Triclover’s ‘Nuts Smooth’ and ‘Nuts Chocolate’ peanut butter brands were found to be at 36.44ppb and 44.25ppb.
‘Mother nature’ peanut butter had aflatoxin levels at 27.26ppb, yet the maximum total aflatoxin content should be 15 ppb.
KEBS says the manufacturers whose product permits have been suspended should discontinue the manufacturing and sale of all substandard peanut butter as well as recall all the affected products.
Concerns on the presence of peanut butter that had been detected to contain excess levels of aflatoxin emerged in Nandi County.
In a letter dated January 29, 2019 the Government Chemists department notified the Ministry of Interior that an analysis on the said peanut butter showed it’s unfit for human consumption.
“The peanut butter exceeds the maximum required limit for total aflatoxins (10ppb) hence not fit for human consumption,” reads the letter.
Jetlak Foods Limited, the parent company of peanut butter brand ‘Nuteez’ has since denied knowledge of any contamination of their products.
The company maintains that its products are of the highest quality standards.