Supermarket offers to refund money over bad maize flour

NAIROBI, KENYA: Retail chain Carrefour has strongly rejected claims that it was aware of an impending investigation on bad maize flour.

This is after a photo showing a half-price offer for one of the brands that were recalled from the market due to high levels of aflatoxin went viral on social media last week.

Carrefour said that it had planned the promotion for Dola flour weeks before. The supermarket said that the Retail Trade Association of Kenya (RETRAK) made it aware last Thursday and immediately withdrew all the maize flour mentioned in a list by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS).

According to Carrefour, the promotion was carried between November 1 - November 3.

KEBs publicly released the list of bad flour in the market on Saturday and suspended the licences of five millers asking them to cease manufacturing or selling the affected maize meals that were found to contain higher levels of aflatoxin than the recommended limits.

“Carrefour Kenya would like to inform its customers that the special promotion on Dola flour which was valid from November 1 until November 3, 2019, was negotiated with the supplier weeks ago without knowing the ongoing investigations from KEBS,” said the supermarket in a social media statement.

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“All the maize flour concerned on KEBS today’s (November 9) press release has been withdrawn from the shelves preventively, as soon as Carrefour was made aware through RETRAK on Thursday, November 7,” added the statement.

Carrefour said it would refund customers who had bought the bad flour and asked them to visit any of their branches with receipts or proofs of purchase.

“We also would like to emphasise to our valuable customers that any maize flour concerned which has been purchased at Carrefour can be returned and refunded in any of our branches,” said Carrefour.

The millers whose licences have been suspended include Kitui Flour Mills (Dola maize meal), Alpha Grain limited (Kifaru maize meal), Pan African Grain Millers (Starehe maize meal), Kenblest limited (210 Two Ten maize meal) and Kensalrise Limited (Jembe maize meal).

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CarrefourRetail Trade Association of KenyaKenya Bureau of Standards