The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) destroyed tons of expired rice and spaghetti worth Sh10 million in Mombasa Thursday, as the government heightened war on contraband goods.
The consignment imported from Italy in 2018 was intercepted in June 2019 by a multi -agency team and had been stored at various warehouses in Mombasa awaiting destruction.
The 58 tons Ziana Spaghetti brand and 6 tons of rice imported from overseas through the port surpassed the expiry date, while still in the storage at a warehouse in Shimanzi.
Coast Regional Commissioner (RC) John Elungata who supervised the destruction at the former Kibarani dumpsite said the goods were legally imported, but expired while in the storage at various go-downs around Shimanzi.
Elungata called on the members of the public to cooperate with government agencies to expose unscrupulous traders out to enrich themselves through dubious means.
He warned traders against repackaging expired food products and selling them to the market saying they posed a grave danger to the unsuspecting consumers.
“It’s widely believed that the goods were waiting to be repackaged before being released to the market afresh,” added the Regional Commissioner.
Elungata noted that repackaging of expired food products is serious malpractice that puts the health of consumers in grave danger and warned that the government agencies were keenly following some unscrupulous traders for taking advantage of the covid-19 to supply expired food products.
He asked police and other security agencies to be more vigilant against smuggling of contraband and illicit goods especially at border points.
KEBS Coast Regional Manager Cirus Wambari said the agency in collaboration with other government bodies has heightened surveillance on illegal goods saying they intercepted the consignment after a tip off from the storage facility.
“We have heightened surveillance to ensure the public is protected from consuming expired products, especially foods,’’ said Wambari.
The KEBS manager confirmed that business cartels were taking advantage of the Covid-19 period to supply expired goods knowing too well they were not fit for human consumption.
By Mohamed Hassan