Four people have died and more than 600 were sickened at two schools in Kenya recently.

The Ministry of Health (MOH) is investigating a suspected gastroenteritis outbreak at Mukumu Girls and Butere Boys high schools in Kakamega County.

The illness appears to have started on March 1 and as of April 14, 627 patients are sick with 19 students admitted to seven health facilities across the country. Symptoms include fever, abdominal pain, cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea. One teacher and three students have died.

Both schools have been closed by the Ministry of Education and Kakamega County government while investigations are

Continue Reading Salmonella and E. coli suspected in large, deadly outbreak in Kenya

A research project on the safety of edible insects involving Germany and Kenya is entering its final year.

The German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) and Jomo Kenyatta University in Nairobi, Kenya, are leading the ContamInsect research project, which started in 2020.

It focuses on the safety of the most commonly used insect species for food in Kenya and evaluation of chemical contaminants such as mycotoxins, dioxins, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Sample collection is being conducted in Kenya with analysis done at the BfR.

The aim is to find out whether and to what extent
Continue Reading Project in Kenya looks at edible insect safety; EU approves house crickets

The Center for Foodborne Illness Research and Prevention (CFI) at The Ohio State University has been awarded $770,000 to improve food safety and prevent foodborne illnesses in Kenya.

The project, “Chakula salama: a risk-based approach to reducing foodborne diseases and increasing production of safe foods in Kenya,” includes researchers from Ohio State University, the University of Florida, Kenya Medical Research Institute, and the University of Nairobi. They will work to develop and test food-safety interventions to support Kenya’s small-scale poultry producers.

According to Barbara Kowalcyk, director of CFI, the project will use a systems-based approach to answer important food safety
Continue Reading Ohio State food safety center to research food safety in Kenya

African experts have highlighted the main food safety concerns, challenges, and potential solutions for the continent at the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) virtual annual meeting.

The roundtable discussion included specialists from South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Gambia. The majority highlighted mycotoxins as one of the top issues.

Lucia Anelich, director of Anelich Consulting, presented the situation in South Africa.

“Our main food safety issues from a bacterial point of view are Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, particularly E. coli O157, and Campylobacter. We are not spending a lot of time and effort on Campylobacter although
Continue Reading Experts give insight into food safety in Africa

Norwegian officials are investigating a national outbreak of Shigella linked to sugar peas, also referred to as sugar snaps, from Kenya.

The Norwegian Institute of Public Health (Folkehelseinstituttet), local authorities and the Norwegian Food Safety Authority (Mattilsynet) are investigating the eight illnesses in people aged 29 to 63 years old. None of those sick are believed to be seriously ill.

In early December, several people became ill with gastrointestinal symptoms after eating in a canteen in Oslo. Shigella sonnei was found in samples from five of the patients.

Heat treatment advice
The outbreak investigation found three people in Akershus and
Continue Reading Shigella sickens eight in Norway; link to peas from Kenya

A Kenyan-based technology food distribution platform is to receive help to boost food safety practices and ensure traceability of produce from the farm to consumers.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, signed an agreement with Twiga Foods to apply global quality certification to food products for the domestic, rather than export market.

Twiga Foods’ platform uses mobile phone technology to connect smallholder farmers in rural areas to informal retail vendors in cities. Under the agreement, IFC will advise the company on food safety and quality management systems in produce handling facilities.

Investing to improve
Continue Reading World Bank Group supports projects to improve African food safety