KENYA – Nakuru County Government is spearheading a comprehensive legislative initiative to combat the menace of contaminated foodstuffs and animal feeds.

With a focus on mitigating the risks associated with toxic substances, antibiotic residues, and disease vectors, the proposed measures represent a significant stride towards ensuring food security and public health.

At the forefront of this crusade is Ms. Alice Abuku, the County Public Health Chief Officer, who articulates the urgent need for robust regulations to govern the production and distribution of consumables.

Emphasizing the imperative of the proposed ‘Nakuru County Food Safety Policy’ and ‘The Nakuru County Food and Feed Safety Quality Control Coordination Bill 2022’, Ms. Abuku highlights their pivotal role in curbing the prevalence of foodborne illnesses and injuries.

During a recent workshop convened to deliberate on the proposed policy and bill, Ms. Abuku highlighted the alarming correlation between chemical and organic contaminants in food products and the surge in cancer cases.

Echoing these concerns, the World Health Organisation (WHO) underscores the profound impact of foodborne diseases on public health, with young children bearing a disproportionate burden.

Recognizing that addressing food safety requires a concerted effort, the initiative draws on the collective expertise of various stakeholders, including governmental departments, research organizations, farmer associations, and industry players.

Through strategic partnerships and coordinated action, the aim is to institute stringent oversight mechanisms spanning the entire food supply chain, reports Kenya News Agency.

Central to the initiative is the empowerment of consumers through education and awareness campaigns.

By fostering a culture of informed decision-making, consumers play a pivotal role in driving market accountability and encouraging adherence to quality standards.

Chief Officer for Agriculture, Mr. Newton Mwaura, stresses the importance of equipping both farmers and consumers with the requisite knowledge to uphold food safety practices.

Encompassing traceability requirements, compliance mechanisms, and reference laboratories, the proposed bill offers a comprehensive framework for ensuring adherence to food and feed safety standards.

Experts at the forefront of the initiative stress the urgency of addressing antibiotic resistance, which poses a grave threat to public health.

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