Kenya Rallies for World Food Safety Day 2024

By Tajeu Shadrack Nkapapa

Kenya is gearing up to observe World Food Safety Day with a range of initiatives aimed at highlighting the importance of food safety.

The planned activities include a clean-up campaign at Soko Mpya market in Nyandarua County on June 4, 2024, followed by a conference at Safari Park Hotel from 5th to 7th June 2024.

This year’s theme, “Food Safety; Prepare for the Unexpected,” highlights the critical importance of being prepared to handle food safety incidents, no matter their scale.

Principal Secretary Mary Muthoni Muriuki stressed the importance of safe food handling practices, encouraging consumers to adhere to WHO’s Five Keys to Safer Food: keep clean, separate raw and cooked foods, cook thoroughly, maintain safe temperatures, and use safe water and raw materials.

“Unsafe food not only poses health risks but also hampers socioeconomic development by straining healthcare systems and hindering national economies, tourism, and trade,” stated the PS.

Among the key challenges identified facing Kenya include aflatoxin contamination in cereals, legumes, milk, and other dairy products; pesticide residues in fruits and vegetables; and the use of trans-fats.

These issues have a substantial impact on consumer health and economic well-being.

To address these challenges, the Ministry of Health is spearheading several initiatives, such as the Food and Feed Safety Control Coordination Bill, 2023, which is currently under consideration in the Senate.

“Our commitment to safeguarding consumers from substandard foods remains unwavering,” PS Muriuki added.

Additionally, initiatives like distributing food safety guidelines, conducting sensitization programs for public health officers, and setting up mini labs for aflatoxin analysis highlight the government’s proactive measures to ensure food safety.