In November 2019, Kenya Bureau of Standard (Kebs) pulled off the shelves seven peanut butter brands over high levels of aflatoxin.
The brands were also banned in Rwanda and Uganda.
Those recalled include Jetlak Foods “Nuteez”, Truenutz Kenya ‘True Nuts’, Supacosm Products (Supa Meal), Nature’s Way Health (Sue’s Naturals), Fressy Food Company (Fressy) and Target Distributors (Nutty by Nature).
Also on the list of banned products was Trufoods Kenya’s Zesta peanut butter.
“The suspension follows test results undertaken by KeBS which confirm that their levels of aflatoxin is higher than the maximum limit allowed by the Standard. The Kenya Standard, ‘KS EAS 60: 2013, Peanut Butter – Specification’ states that the maximum total aflatoxin content, is 15 parts per billion (ppb) and gives maximum value for Aflatoxin B1 5 ppb maximum,” Kebs said in a statement.
As a result, Trufoods recalled its product and vowed to work with the authority to identify the root of the cause in the supply chain.
“We pledge that quality will always remain our main objective,” the manufacturer said in a letter.
Kahawa Tungu has however learnt that the manufacturer could have brought back the banned product under a different brand.
Investigations have revealed that the newly launched Blue Band peanut butter is manufactured by Trufoods Kenya.
The peanut butter was launched on Monday alongside other products like Blue Band Real Mayonnaise and Blue Band Cold Pressed Canola oil. This makes Kenya the first country to expand Blue Band into new categories of all the markets Upfield – acquired Blue Band from Unilever in 2017- operates.
The Netherlands plant-based margarine and spreads firm has a manufacturing plant in Nairobi.
In January 2020, Kebs banned 17 maize flour brands for containing high levels of aflatoxin.
They include; African King, Unique, MLO, City Corn, Sarafina, Tosha, Shiba, Hakika Best, Budget, Wema, Jomba, Adardere Mupa, Afya, Uzima, Tetema and Dola.
“While conducting its mandate of Market Surveillance, KEBS has tested maize meal brands and has found some of them contain levels of aflatoxins higher than the requirement of the relevant Kenya standard making them unsafe for human consumption,” Kebs stated.