Processors to foot cost of recalling dairy goods

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Processors to foot cost of recalling dairy goods


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Milk on supermarket shelves. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NMG

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Summary

  • Dairy processors will be forced to foot the cost of recalling unsafe milk and other dairy products from supermarket shelves and shops under new regulations as the State moves to protect consumers.
  • The new regulations will for the first time shift the cost of withdrawing the unfit products from retailers to the producers.
  • The requirements are contained in the Dairy Industry (Traceability and Recall) Regulations, 2021 gazetted by Agriculture Secretary Peter Munya.

Dairy processors will be forced to foot the cost of recalling unsafe milk and other dairy products from supermarket shelves and shops under new regulations as the State moves to protect consumers.

The new regulations will for the first time shift the cost of withdrawing the unfit products from retailers to the producers.

The requirements are contained in the Dairy Industry (Traceability and Recall) Regulations, 2021 gazetted by Agriculture Secretary Peter Munya.

This is the latest bid to ensure milk safety and comes a month after the government advertised a tender for firms to automate milk testing equipment that will detect high bacteria load, added water and other impurities, which affect quality of milk delivered at collection centres.

“Whenever the results of tested samples fail to meet the relevant standard, the producer or dairy business operator shall take immediate remedial action, which may include making a withdrawal, halting production, placing distribution on hold, produce recycling or initiating concessions,” Mr Munya says in the regulations.

Supermarkets and wholesale shops had, before the publication of the new regulations, taken the responsibility for withdrawing unsafe dairy products from their shelves whenever customer complaints arose.

The costs of recalling will add to expenses of compensating consumers who report cases of dangerous dairy products as the state puts pressure on firms to ensure safety of their products.

Under the new regulations, dairy processors will be required to keep the information of their suppliers, retailers and supermarkets for up to at least three months after expiry of the products.

Processors who breach the regulations risk a fine not exceeding Sh10,000, a year in jail or both.

A company operating more than one processing plant will use one common name on all its containers or packages in addition to having a system capable of identifying where the produce was obtained or processed and packaged.

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