Competition Watchdog warns bread manufacturers over “Sell By” dates

Competition Watchdog warns bread manufacturers over lack of “Sell By” dates

Bread manufacturers will, from now henceforth, be required to indicate the “Sell by” dates on bread wrappers to show the expiry date as opposed to the phrase “Best Before”, previously used as provided for in the Competition Act.

This was among orders issued by the Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) on May 24 to bread manufacturers in the country who have been operating in contravention of the Kenya Bureau of Standards’ (KEBS) product information standards.

“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” read part of the statement issued by the CAK.

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CK Director General, Wang’ombe Kariuki said the authority also established that some manufacturers were not providing the manufacturing date and month on their bread wrappers in the prescribed format while others were printing them illegibly on the seals.

The manufacturers were also put on the spot for not providing the weight of bread products and list of ingredients, while others marketed their bread as fortified but did not specify the alleged nutrients/vitamins used.

While no harm has been reported as a result of the contraventions, the competition watchdog said the actions amount to false and misleading representations to consumers of goods and services and are in contravention of section 55 of the Competition Act.

Consequently, the manufacturers have been ordered to immediately provide a list of ingredients and the net weight of their products in grams as well as legibly print the day and month the product was manufactured on the wrapper.

While the authority has committed to conduct spot checks to ensure compliance with the directives, consumers have also been invited to report any cases of non-compliance to the CAK.

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