Are you in Nakuru and love spices?
You have been urged to be cautious of the products you buy or use after police bust a syndicate manufacturing and supplying fake products that were harmful to the human body.
The officers Thursday raided a house in Bondeni slums within Nakuru town and found adulterated spices passed off as tomato sauce worth Sh80,000. A suspect was arrested.
The operation -- led by Nakuru County Commissioner Erastus Mbui -- followed a tip off from the public.
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Owners of the manufacturing unit mixed various chemicals, sugar, water and added preservatives.
The mixture is then heated to make it smooth, with the procedure done without adding a single piece tomato.
"The owner claimed that even though the product is not of quality, it is of high demand, and in a single day, he supplies more than 100 litres to various hotels," said Nakuru Town East Police Commander Elenna Kabukuru.
Kabukuru told Standard Digital that the fake sauce was manufactured and sold to various hotels and other fast-food meal outlets within the town.
Preliminary investigations by the police revealed that the unit had been operating illegally since February 2020.
They had labels of various tomato sauce brands with the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBs) labels. Alongside the fake tomato sauce, they manufactured fake chilli sauce.
At the manufacturing unit, the products are packed in containers of different sizes ranging from one, two, three and five litres.
Police said a five-litre jerrican of the fake sauce sold for Sh250 against price of original products that went for about Sh800.
"We are liaising with KEBs officers to investigate the crime before charging the suspect," said Kabukuru.
Nakuru has had several cases of counterfeit products getting to the market.
Among the products sold include milk which was found to have preservatives that are harmful to the human body.
In 2016, the Ministry of Health busted a yogurt manufacturing and distribution syndicate in Nakuru town.
The product was seized in Manyani estate where it was being processed and packaged ready for market in Nakuru town and its environs.
Ingredients that were being used by the syndicate included yeast, stabilizer powder, henna, food colour and sugar.
County Director of Public Health Elizabeth Kiptoo said inspection measures have been enhanced to guarantee safety of food sold to consumers.
The suspect arrested on Thursday is being held at Bondeni Police Station awaiting arraignment.