NAIROBI, April 19 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's fresh produce lobby said Thursday it plans to enforce stringent hygiene in order to enhance food safety standards in the country.
Fresh Produce Consortium of Kenya (FPC Kenya) CEO Okesegere Ojepat told journalists in Nairobi that its members will strictly adhere to the KS1758 standards developed by government on fruits and vegetables for food safety.
"We are going to adopt high food handling practices in order to eliminate cases of food contamination," Ojepat said.
He said that the food lobby will embrace processes that will ensure that food available in the market is suitable for human consumption.
The official said that rising middle class has also increased demand for fresh fruits and vegetables, hence the need to prioritize food safety standards.
He noted that currently farmers especially in the perishable sector lack adequate infrastructure to maintain food safety due to lack of resources.
"As a result, food handling along the value chain could lead to contamination of food with harmful bacteria and fungi," he said.
According to FPC Kenya, fresh produce can become unfit for human consumption if farmers use contaminated fertilizers or if their produce gets into contact with sewerage water.
Ojepat said that lack of awareness amongst farmers can lead to the production of contaminated food, adding that food safety hazards are also likely to emerge during the transportation and storage stage.