Kenya host food safety experts as adulteration rises

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Kenya will be hosting the 23rdSession of the FAO/WHO Codex Coordinating Committee for Africa to discuss and formulate strategies on improving food safety and quality in Kenya, Africa, and the world.

The event comes in the wake of increasing public concern over the rise of adulterated food products like sugar and dairy products as well as cases of wrong use of preservation chemicals for meat products in Kenya.

The one-week conference dubbed “A Quest for Trade in safe food” runs from 2nd – 6th September 2019 and is being hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) in conjunction with the government of Kenya through line ministries including Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives and the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS).

The event brings together governments, national standards bodies, public and private sector players, farmers, producers and other policymakers to deliberate ways of ensuring consumers use safer and quality products.

In Kenya, KEBS is the government agency whose main task is to ensure food products meet safety and quality standards as required by international food standards, guidelines and codes of practice thus safeguarding consumer health and ensuring fair practices in the food trade.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses or chemical substances causes more than 200 diseases ranging from diarrhea to cancers and many others. More so, children under 5 years carry about 40% of food-borne diseases. Food safety and nutrition are key in observing good hygiene and for the prevention of many diseases.  Locally, there have been food safety concerns linked to the reported cases of cancer deaths.

The Codex Alimentarius Commission (CAC) is the Joint Food Standards Program of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) charged with the mandate of developing food and feed international codex standards for safeguarding the health of consumers and ensuring fair trade practices in food.

The word Codex is an acronym referring to Food Law that governs the development of food standards at international level. The international standards set by the Codex are referenced (recognized) by the World Trade Organization (WTO). CAC has six regional coordinating committees with the FAO/ WHO Africa Region Codex Coordinating Committee (CCAFRICA) as one of them.

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