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Kebs publishes new guidelines for the production of packaging paper

By James Wanzala | February 28th 2021

NAIROBI, KENYA: The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has approved new standards to guide the production of Kraft paper.

The standards specify requirements and methods of sampling and testing of Kraft paper used in packing greasy, oily food and dry food such as sugar and flour, bread bags, grocery bags, wrappings, and laminates.

“Kraft paper is recommended for eco-friendly packaging as they are made from biodegradable, recyclable material to help reduce waste and conserve the environment, “ said Bernard Njiraini, Managing Director, Kebs.

The new guidelines provide specifications for grease or oil resistance, pH, cobb, dimensions, limits of heavy metals and organic contaminants, Microbiological requirements, among others.

Globally, Kraft paper is used for many industrial and commercial applications including packing, wrapping individual items, bundling and void fill. Notable uses of Kraft paper include paper sacks for industrial materials such as cement and chemicals, flour and food bags at the grocery stores, multiwall sacks, envelopes, paper bags, corrugated layered cardboard, among others.

Locally, these standards shall be particularly useful to manufacturers of food products, fast food outlets, paper converters, importers, exporters, standards enforcement agencies and other stakeholders.

The standards body also published Kenya Standard KS 2489:2021, a revised specification for engine coolants that aims to address issues of tropical or summer coolants, which were not captured in the previous standard. Tropical coolants do not have anti-freeze characteristics.

The revised standard also covers two types of glycol products. That is Ethylene glycol and Propylene glycol. In both instances, various parameters have been taken into consideration among them the freezing point, relative density, ash content, reserve alkalinity, PH and boiling point. The standard also covers performance characteristics with elaborate test methods.

Other specifications which have been introduced include the quality of water to be used for pre-mixing and a methodology to help detect substandard products in the market more quickly through a rust and corrosion test.

A new Kenya Standard KS 2927:2021 that specifies the requirements, methods of test and sampling for sodium bicarbonate traded and/or used in the food industry, pharmaceuticals and household was also approved.

On Wednesday, KEBS issued new food safety and hygiene guidelines for all workers in the food production and supply chains as the fight against Covid-19 continues.

The new standard KNWA 2931:2021 provides guidelines on the use of personal protective equipment (PPEs), management of staff sickness at premises, physical distancing, identification of high touchpoints, and good personnel hygienic practices such as hand washing, use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers disinfection of work surfaces critical to food business operations.

The guidelines are intended to supplement existing codes of hygiene practice that have been published and complement the Food Management Systems that business operators have put in place, and does not replace the existing codes of hygiene practice.

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