We're not to blame for contaminated unimix, says firm
By Peter Orengo
A company accused of supplying contaminated relief food has said it is not to blame for the distribution of the aflatoxin-infected unimix.
Proctor and Allan EA Ltd said although it was aware of the contaminated food, the company did not know that it had been distributed as relief food. It said that was the mandate of the Kenya Red Cross Society.
"It is true that Kenya Red Cross ordered the manufacture of the above product, which they collected. A month later the Kenya Bureau of Standards called Proctor and Allan and advised that batch numbers 236.011.1 and 236.011.2 of Unimix had been found to contain levels of aflatoxin that were above Kebs specification," said the Managing Director Judy Macharia.
She said Proctor and Allan embarked on immediate investigation and isolated three batches (236.011.1, 236.011.2 and 237.011.1).
"Since Kebs had already written to Kenya Red Cross on the findings, we held several discussions and meetings and it was decided by all concerned parties that the affected three batches be recalled and destroyed," said Macharia.
She said since the recall, the company is yet to receive the contaminated unimix from the Kenya Red Cross for incineration.
The alarm was raised by KRCS Secretary General Abbas Gullet who said about 60,000 pupils may be at risk after eating contaminated Unimix supplied to northern Kenya and parts of the Coast Province.
Tests by Kebs, SGS and Analab also confirmed the contamination.
Gullet said the pupils must undergo urgent medical check-ups to find out if they had been affected.
Medical research has shown that exposure to aflatoxin can lead to liver cancer, but Gullet said the children could have consumed the food for under a month before the consignment was recalled.
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