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The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has declared the cooking oil imported by the Government of Kenya as unfit for human consumption.

In its letter dated 5th September and addressed to the Managing Director of the Kenya National Trading Corporation, the Kenya Bureau of Standards concluded;

“The consignments have been rejected and the importer is hereby advised to reship them back to the country of origin within 30 days from the date of this letter, failure to which they shall be destroyed at the importer’s cost.

“Kenya Bureau of Standards subjected consignments entry number 23MBAIM402473344, 23MBAIM403321628, and 23MBAIM403235943 to test against the Kenya Standardization Specification for Fortified Edible Oils and Fats.

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“The results established that the consignments failed to comply in Vitamin A and Insoluble Impurities.”

In its final report, KEBS established that for fat content the Edible Oils exceeded the required amount by 0.47% by mass containing 99.97 instead of the required 99.5. For moisture and matter volatile at 105°C, while the required standard is 0.2, the oils subjected to test contained 0.03.

The acid value of the edible oils measured, potassium hydroxide in milligrams was 0.12 whilst the required standard is 0.6. For the amount of peroxide oxygen per kilogram of oil, while the requirement is 10, the Edible Oils contained 5.42.

The KEBS examination also found that the imported oil contained 0.04 of insoluble impurities while the required standard is 0.05.

While the KEBS study took place in July, it is not clear why all the other consignments shipped in before July were not subjected to laboratory tests and why KEBS has not destroyed the oil as stated in its letter.

For instance, consignment number 23MBAIM402747001 exported by Multi Commerce FZC registered in Sharjah, UAE was not subjected to tests.

The importation of 125,000 MT of Edible Oil, was meant to bring down the cost of living, but it turned out the price of the consignment was inflated making it uncompetitive.

Last week, the DCI and the EACC questioned top KNTC officials, after it emerged that companies owned by people with links to the government were single-sourced to procure food and edible oils through KNTC.

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