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KEBS release fresh guidelines to tame Covid-19

The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) Thursday issued new food safety and hygiene guidelines for all workers in the food production and supply chains as the fight against Covid-19 intensifies.

The guidelines highlight the need for use of personal protective equipment (PPEs), management of staff sickness at premises, physical distancing, identification of high touchpoints, and good personnel hygienic practices such as hand washing, use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and disinfection of work surfaces critical to food business operations.

The guidelines are intended to supplement existing codes of hygiene practice that have been published and complement the Food Management Systems that business operators have put in place, and do not replace the existing codes of hygiene practice.

“Keeping personnel in the food production and supply chains healthy and safe is critical to surviving and thriving during the Covid-19 pandemic. The new standards will ensure that we maintain movement of food along the food value chain and build consumer trust and confidence in the safety and availability of food,” said Kebs Managing Director Bernard Njiraini in a statement.

Guided by Codex food standards, new protocols target restaurants, hotels and eateries, wholesale/retail food outlets, and informal markets.

Others include drivers in transport and delivery of food ingredients and products, open food displays in retail premises such as salad bars, fresh produce displays, and bakery products, and staff canteens, among others.

The Codex food standards are international food and feed standards developed by joint committees organized by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Health Organization (WHO) with the aim to safeguard the health of consumers and ensure fair trade practices in food.