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Nacada calls for random tests on drinks in pubs

The national drug abuse agency now wants city pubs to be subjected to random tests to check on the quality of products they are selling to consumers.

The National Authority for Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) says the quality tests will curb infiltration of counterfeit spirits that are finding their way to bar shelves.

The tests, the agency proposes, should be conducted the public health department together with the Kenya Bureau of Standards.

The proposal comes a day after 60 people died and 70 others fell ill after consuming toxic brews across the country.

NACADA’s national director Fazul Mohammed said the tests will check on  adherence to health standards and other regulatory requirements.

“The department of public health and the Kenya Bureau of Standards must carry out regular random sampling and testing of alcoholic products in the bars to ensure they are of the set health standards threshold,” said Mr Mohammed.

But according to a KEBS’s officer investigating the latest incident in Embakasi, in which people died and two other were blinded,  emphasis must be at the manufacturing level rather than at retail outlets.

“It would take a regular bar customer an extraordinary keen observation to tell a counterfeit from an original, but the manufacturer can easily tell which product if a counterfeit or original or the supplier who has knowledge of the origin of the product,” said the officer who can not be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media.