Dola, Kifaru, Starehe, 210 Two Ten and Jembe are the maize flour brands banned by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) over high aflatoxin levels.
KEBS said in a statement Saturday, November9, that the manufacturers of the five unga brands have had their permits withdrawn due to the findings.
Kitui Flour Mills in Mombasa manufactures Dola, Alpha Grain Limited in Nairobi produces Kifaru brand, Pan-African Grain Millers in Nairobi manufactures Starehe brand, Kenblast Limited in Thika produces 210 Two Ten and Kensalrise Limited in Eldoret manufactures Jembe brand.
KEBS says it has ordered the above companies to stop, with immediate effect, the production of the banned maize flour brands until the quality regulator is satisfied that they have met the required health standards.
“Additionally, the manufacturers are required to recall all the substandard maize meal products from the market and institute corrective measures,” said KEBS.
The regulator said it has directed all supermarkets in Kenya to remove from their stalls the banned maize flour products.
Aflatoxins are a family of toxins produced by certain fungi that are found on agricultural crops such as maize (corn), peanuts, cottonseed, and tree nuts. The main fungi that produce aflatoxins are Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus, which are abundant in warm and humid regions of the world.
Aflatoxin-producing fungi can contaminate crops in the field, at harvest, and during storage.
People can be exposed to aflatoxins by eating contaminated plant products (such as peanuts) or by consuming meat or dairy products from animals that ate contaminated feed. Farmers and other agricultural workers may be exposed by inhaling dust generated during the handling and processing of contaminated crops and feeds.
Exposure to aflatoxins is associated with an increased risk of liver cancer.
You can reduce your aflatoxin exposure by buying only major commercial brands of nuts and nut butters and by discarding nuts that look moldy, discolored, or shriveled.