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KBL products removed from list of banned liquor

RESPECTNAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 4 – The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) has removed Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL) products from the list of brands whose licenses have been suspended.

In the revised list of the banned products, KBL brands are not part of the drinks whose licenses have been suspended pending inspection and testing by the Inter Government Agency Team.

On Friday, the list of suspended products released by KEBS contained some of the products from KBL.

KBL Corporate Affairs Director Eric Kiniti later told Capital FM News that the company has complied with all the necessary requirements and has met all the standards of the regulator.

Kiniti is worried that the company might experience lower turnover owing to the ongoing crackdown that has turned into destruction of property with criminal gangs taking advantage of the situation.

“Bar owners are scared of opening up their enterprises while transporters are scared of putting their vehicles on the road owing to the ongoing crackdown. Everyone has a right to own property, and destroying someone’s property is infringement of their rights,” he added.

He says currently business is at a standstill owing to the chaotic countrywide crackdown of illicit brews.

Kiniti says KBL supports the initiative of the crackdown but points out that it should been done in a proper manner.

He urged the government to work hand-in-hand with the private sector in this crackdown and urged the public not to take the law into their own hands.

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“We would like to be represented in this crackdown, even in the Inter-Government Agency Team, we are not represented,” he added.

KEBS now says there are 385 potable spirit brands suspended following the decision by the government to immediately withdraw licenses as war on Killer illicit brews continues.

The regulator has also written to all manufacturers to stop production of potable spirits until they are inspected and cleared by the Inter Government-Agency team.

KEBS Managing Director Charles Ongwae says arrangements have also been made to ensure all sampled products are tested and results released as fast as possible.

Ongwae says standard for methanol which was being misused by scrupulous alcoholic manufacturers has been revised.

“All methanol imported into the country has to be denatured at the country of origin. This makes it impossible to be used in the production of alcoholic beverage. KEBS has also included methanol in the PVOC (Pre-Export Verification of Conformity) list, which means before it is exported into the country, it has to be inspected at the country of origin. Methanol has also been included in the list of dangerous chemicals,” Ongwae said.

Besides that, KEBS has also put up conditions for all manufacturers of alcoholic beverages to comply with standards to ensure the safety of alcoholic drinks that include presence of a laboratory which can test both qualitative and quantitative compositions of especially methanol and ethanol.

Others include having a qualified person in food management – at least diploma Level and being in possession of the standards for the products they manufacture and the code of practice – manufacture of, handling and distribution of alcoholic beverages.

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