The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has asked hotels to improve their hygiene, food and beverage production standards to ensure they offer meals described best for consumption to their customers and guests.
This is not only aimed at consumers’ safety, but also key to the steady growth of the hospitality industry.
Speaking at a sensitisation workshop held at the Mombasa Beach Hotel, the Director Quality Assurance & Inspection, Geoffrey Muriira stated that the workshop was one of their outreach activities to the industry to propagate Kenyan standards and best international practices.
He said development, implementation and maintenance of good hygiene practices provide the conditions and activities that are necessary to support the production of safe and suitable nutrition at all stages of the food chain.
Muriira said the hotel industry is in the post-Covid period and to ensure proper reclamation, the concerned stakeholders should be brought up to speed on the various standards and requirements that are implemented worldwide to make sure that their operations met the requisite standards.
“In this workshop we are looking at various standards including KS2573 on hygiene requirements for hotel and catering industry and Hazard analysis as critical control points,” said Muriira.
He added that the key goal of the workshop was to make sure that there were no more foodborne illnesses emanating from foodstuff prepared by poor food handling processes.
Muriira also urged the hotels to align themselves to the best practices and standards to position themselves as premium destinations in the coastal region to attract more tourists.
On behalf of industry stakeholders, Executive Officer Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers (KAHC), Sam Ikwaye, stated that despite perceived high cost of running and complying with some of the expected standards, it was important to note that it would be more costly to cater for food poisoning cases or related injuries.
An estimation of 1.8 million people were reported to have lost their lives every year as a result of diarrheal diseases and most of those cases were attributed to contaminated food or water.
“We are expecting to have an objectively busier season compared to the last two years due to the severe effects of Covid 19. As the world opens up to travel, we are expecting huge traffic of people coming to the coast for the December Holidays,” said Ikwaye.
Ikwaye said that as long as stakeholders put emphasis on the expected standards, tourists and visitors coming to the Coast would have memorable festivities.
KEBS monitors certified products through regular factory and market surveillance visits. It also operates a product certification scheme in line with section 10 of the Standards Act Cap 496 of the Laws of Kenya.
By Fatuma Said