The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) reported that there is no cause for alarm regarding the instant noodles labeled Indomie, that have so far been banned in Rwanda and Egypt.
KEBS said that there is no connection between the products recalled in Egypt and the ones in Kenya.
Moreover, over the next few days, KEBS will carry out tests on the Indomie noodles to confirm their safety for consumption.
The acting head of testing at KEBS Mr. Tom Oduor confirmed that they had already received 94 instant noodles samples from their market surveillance teams, and they had started working on two, which is the pesticide residues and aflatoxins.
These safety check tests on instant noodles came about after the Food and Safety Authority in Egypt recalled the chicken, chilli and vegetable flavors of the product from their market, claiming they had excess quantities of aflatoxins and pesticide residues.
In addition, the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA) Competition Commission raised concerns that similar products are being imported and marketed in the other member States, Kenya included.
“We did not import any products from Egypt, however we have a local manufacturer of Indomie instant noodles called Salim Wazaran. Of course the brand or trademark could be a franchise, but the company manufacturing this product is sourcing their raw materials locally and importing some ingredients.” stated KEBS managing director Bernard Njirani.
Rwanda who import the instant noodles from Kenya, banned the product in the country, after COMESA’s Competition Commission cited it’s safety concerns.
Furthermore, on May 10, the Food and Drugs Authority in Ghana also decided to perform their own tests on the instant noodles to confirm its safety for consumption. However, they warned the country against consuming the said noodles that bear the logo “ladha ya kuku” stating that they are not a registered product in Ghana.
However, KEBS cited that the preliminary results are promising.
“Preliminary investigations show there are no excess aflatoxins beyond the 10 ppb that is required of the standard,” said. Lt. Col. Njiraini.
According to Mr. Oduor, tests for pesticide will slightly take longer because it takes about 4 hours to get one sample ready. Moreover, pesticide residues have a very large population of around 80 pesticides being tested in one sample.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), large quantities of pesticides in the human body can cause acute poisoning or long-term health effects, like cancer and adverse effects on reproduction.
Nonetheless, KEBS stated that, if they find an anomaly in the product, they will have no choice but to withdraw the products from the market.