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Egypt sugar ‘fit for consumption’





Egypt sugar ‘fit for consumption’

Loaders offload sugar
Loaders offload sugar that was stopped on grounds it contains mercury and copper. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

The 10,000 bags of brown Egyptian sugar seized at Mombasa port between June and July last year complied with Kenya Bureau of Standards (Kebs) specifications and was fit for human consumption, a court heard.

This is contrary to the Director of Public Prosecutions’ claims that the sweetener was contaminated and was unfit for human consumption due to high moisture content.

Kilindini Port Health Officer Florence Kamula told the court that analysis by the government laboratory indicated that the consignment was not contaminated.

“Results from the Government Chemist which I saw after taking the samples for testing confirmed that the sugar was okay for human consumption,” she told Mombasa Resident Magistrate Christine Ogweno. Kebs former managing director Charles Ongwae and 10 other officials are facing charges of attempted murder over importation of sugar alleged to have had traces of mercury.

The court granted their wish to have the samples tested again. On Tuesday, Ms Kamula said her duties included ship clearance, water and food quality control, disease surveillance and general sanitation of the port.

She said that after receiving instructions from her boss, she picked samples of the consignment which was being held at Boss Freight container station for laboratory analysis at the Port Health Office, the same were later taken for tests at the Government Chemist.

“The consignment was containerised and I did withdraw 50kg bags of brown sugar from four containers, I did fill in sampling notification and receipt in accordance with food, drugs and chemical substance, stamped and counter signed the document in the presence of clearing agents, I then handed it over to the in-charge of Port Health Peter Mwadziwe for his further action,” she said.

She said that even after the analysis report showed the consignment met the regulator’s specifications, she did not see a release notice issued by the multi-agency team.