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Health report reveal high levels of aflatoxin in maize and lead in sugar sold in Nakuru

By Mercy Kahenda | December 25th 2019 at 12:00:00 GMT +0300

Several bags of maize and sugar have been condemned and removed from the market in Nakuru after laboratory tests revealed they are unsafe for human consumption.

At least 42 bags of 50 kilo of different brands of sugar and 4,749kg of maize were netted in respective outlets in the county last November.

According to a report by the department of health services, netted sugar contains lead, while maize has high levels of aflatoxin.

Deputy county public health officer George Gachomba said tests were done during regular food quality surveillance.

Results for other maize brands suspected to contain aflatoxin is yet to be released.

Sugar brands with high levels of lead, according to department of health, include Egyptian sugar, Star brown sugar and Malawi brown sugar.

“It is unfortunate that some traders have been supplying consumers with food products that have metals and aflatoxin, more so maize and sugar,” said Mr Gachomba.

Condemned maize flour has aflatoxin that ranges from 24 to 60 Parts per Billion (PPB), against expected 10 PPB.

Laboratory tests released this week also indicated that lead in condemned sugar stood at 0.85 Parts Per Million (PPM) against accepted limits of 0.5 PPM.

The health officer said lead is a highly toxic metal and a very strong poison to humans.

People exposure to high levels of lead metal develop general body weakness, anemia, brain and kidney damage among other health complication. “Lead is important for the body, but it becomes toxic if consumed in high levels and can kill,” he said.

Results for several kilogrammes of maize suspected to contain aflatoxin is yet to be released.

According to World Health Organisation, aflatoxin are potent carcinogens and may affect all organ systems.


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