Ten different types of cooking oil have been pulled from shelves by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) due to safety concerns.
Brands of cooking oil include Fresh Fri with Garlic Oil, Fry Mate, Bahari Fry, Fresh Fri, Gold and Pure Olive Gold, Postman, Rina, Salit, Tilly, and Top Fry were impacted by the KEBS mandate.
KEBS noted that the decision was made after it conducted testing on a few of the different cooking oil brands.
It was made clear that the suspension was only temporary.
“The listed brands of non-compliant edible oils and fats that failed to meet the requirements of the standard: and to request your good office to notify your members to recall these brands and remove them from the supply chain from your members’ outlets across the country.
“Kindly note that this is not a ban on the brands but a temporary suspension to facilitate the protection of consumers from potentially unsafe products, safeguard the economic interests of manufacturers of compliant brands and allow the manufacturers of the non-compliant brands to initiate and put in place effective corrective action under KEBS supervision,” read the statement in part.
The agency also stated that the cooking oils will not be released back into the market until they have achieved KEBS compliance.
As a result, before buying, Kenyans were urged to evaluate the quality of various cooking oils.
As such, KEBS explained how Kenyans could verify that certain cooking oils were safe for human consumption.
“One should send the code (numbers) underneath the Standardization Mark logo to 20023 (i.e. type message SM# Code or ISM#code, for local and imported products respectively, and SMS to 20023) to get product manufacturing details and permit validity status.
“If the details are different, invalid or not traceable to the platform, retailers should not purchase, stock or offer for sale the products but instead report to KEBS through toll-free number 1545 during official working hours 8 am to 1 pm and 2 pm to 5 pm from Monday to Friday,” read the statement in part.
The Consumers Federation of Kenya (COFEK) released a statement after KEBS’s announcement, urging Kenyans to hold off on buying the brands in question until the issues have been resolved.