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Bread makers on the spot over false product claims

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Bread for sale.

According to a review by the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK), some bread makers have been deceiving consumers with misleading and fraudulent product information in order to boost sales.

While the agency did not name the brands involved in the wrongdoings, it did compel all bakers to follow the Competition Act and other applicable requirements on Monday.

Bakers omitted to provide manufacturing and expiry dates on bread wrappers, according to CAK, while others printed them illegibly on seals.

 Others made deceptive claims about the bread containing milk or butter when it didn’t, and some didn’t disclose the components in their fortified products.

 This comes at a time when manufacturers are trying to sell their goods following a price hike due to increased wheat prices.

While bread is a staple on almost all breakfast tables in the country, the economic distress has left households grappling with the increased cost of living tied to expensive basic commodities.

“The authority pursuant to its consumer protection mandate has finalized investigations targeting bread manufacturers in Kenya and issued orders against those found not to have adhered to provisions of the Competition Act and other relevant Standards,” CAK director-general Wang’ombe Kariuki said.

CAK has now ordered all bakers to print the date and month of manufacture on the bread wrappers as opposed to the seal and indicate the expiry as “Best Before” instead of “Sell by” date.

Manufacturers are also required to provide the correct net weight in grams, a list of all ingredients used including specifying the vitamins and minerals used in fortification.

“To ensure compliance with the order, the authority hereby requires and orders all bread manufacturers in Kenya to adhere to the above requirements with immediate effect. The authority shall continuously undertake spot-checks to establish compliance with all the directives,” Mr. Kariuki added.