The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has issued new food safety and hygiene guidelines for all workers in food production and supply chains. The new guidelines were set to help in the continued fight against COVID-19.

The new standards provide guidelines on use of personal protective equipment (PPEs), management of staff sickness at premises, physical distancing and good personnel hygienic practices. Hand washing, use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers and disinfection of work surfaces are critical to food business operations. These guidelines are intended to supplement existing codes of hygiene practice that have been published. They 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 Lt Col (Rtd.) Bernard Njiraini, Managing Director, KEBS.

The new protocols target restaurants, hotels and eateries, wholesale/retail food outlets and informal markets. Drivers in transport and delivery of food ingredients and products, open food display 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). This is with the aim to safeguard the health of consumers and ensure fair trade practices in food.