By Asmau Ahmad
The Kenyan Government plans to strengthen its food safety systems in order to boost public health, officials said on Wednesday.
Robert Kilonzo, head of food safety at ministry of health, told newsmen in Nairobi that changing food preferences as well as emerging technologies have necessitated the modernisation of the public food safety regime.
“Kenya is developing a new regulatory framework that will modernize the way all players in the food production value chain handle food,’’ Kilonzo said during the AgriFi Food Safety Programme forum.
AgriFi Food Safety Programme is a five year programme that seeks to enhance Kenya’s national food quality safety system.
Kilonzo said Kenya is currently developing a law that will form the Kenya Food and Drugs Authority that will spearhead the country’s food safety standards.
He noted that the food safety control system is undertaken through a multi-sectoral approach and is implemented by various government ministries and regulatory agencies.
“However, the coordination mechanism among these institutions is currently inadequate which could have an impact on food safety in the country,’’ he added.
The ministry of health said that Kenya is prioritising investment in the national food safety control system to eliminate the recurrence of food borne illnesses in the country.
Kilonzo said that there would be increased focus on food safety by having sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards being adopted by value chain actors in food sector.
He observed that the bulk of players along the food chain have not established traceability systems in their operations.