Eldama Ravine Public Health Officer Nicolas Ndoigo has asked Eldama Ravine residents to take advantage of newly opened Mini Food Laboratory in Eldama Ravine Sub County Hospital that was sponsored by World Food Program.
The Public Health Officer said that they are tasting for aflatoxin and fumonisin the Mini Food Laboratory and it has made it easier for Eldama Ravine residents since they will not have to take their food samples to the government chemist in Nairobi to be tasted. He added that another Mini Food Laboratory is in Marigat Sub County.
“We are tasting foods like maize, beans, groundnut, millet and sorghums I want to appeal to hospitals, schools and cereal sellers to bring their cereals to the laboratory to be tasted whenever you feel they are contaminated.” He said.
Ndoigo said that they are conducting the food taste free of charge but with time they might be forced to charge saying that reagents used are expensive and the fee will enable them run the laboratory.
“For now, we are doing the food taste free of charge but we will have to set up a price, because the reagents that we are using are expensive and for it to continue being operational we will have to charge them.” He noted.
He said that the hospital is already using the laboratory to ensure that its patients are consuming safe food.
He called on the County government to help in upgrading the laboratory so as to be able to taste more samples such as cooked food and milk among other foods.
“This laboratory should be upgraded from mini laboratory so that we can conduct more food taste.” He said.
The Health Officer said that it is a must for schools to take their cereals to the laboratory to avoid contaminated food being consumed by students.
“We want to prevent diseases and we want to make sure our people do not eat food contaminated with aflatoxin and fumonisin. For school I think it is a must for them to bring their food sample to ensure that our children consume safe food.” He said.
He added that they have so far tasted maize and some samples have been found with high level of aflatoxin and they had to destroy, noting maize are contaminated with aflatoxin whenever they are poorly stored or exposed to moisture