Health CS urges food processing companies to comply with safety and quality requirements


Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe is urging food processing companies operating in the country to observe the highest standards of production to ensure better health and well-being of the population.
Speaking in Nairobi during the launch of a sustainability report for bio foods products limited, the health CS said unsafe food containing harmful bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances causes more than 200 different diseases ranging from diarrhea to cancers.

“Access to sufficient amounts of safe and nutritious food is key to sustaining life and promoting good health. And as many of you may know, we are dealing with a huge cancer burden in the country that we must do everything possible to arrest.” Observed the health CS.
He said the ministry of health is making a deliberate shift towards the promotion of family health at the core of which is the promotion of clean environments.
“We must as a country ensure we do not use any banned substances or any other with potential to cause harm in the production chain, that is in the farm whether as pesticides, or fertilizers or during processing as additives or preservatives.” Said Kagwe.
This even as he challenged the private sector to be ambassadors of hygiene across the counties saying the ministry is mulling introducing an indicator survey that will rank counties based on how they have achieved and maintained cleanliness in the realisation that effective sanitation can significantly improve human health.
“I have been keen to challenge counties to a cleanliness index, where every year we can celebrate the cleanest county at some annual event. You can take your position as a responsible corporate citizen to help us initiate such a program so that when you are launching your next sustainability report, we can be doing alongside a cleanliness index that could be private sector driven with Government support.” Posed the health CS.
Globally, an estimated 600 million, almost 1 in 10 people, fall ill after eating contaminated food each year, resulting in 420,000 deaths and the loss of 33 million healthy life years. In Kenya, over 70% of all episodes of diarrhoea are attributed to ingestion of contaminated food and water.