Message from Prof. Theophilus Mutui, Managing Director, KEPHIS, for the 2022 World Food Safety day
Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service (KEPHIS) is a state corporation established by the KEPHIS Act 2012, whose mandate is to regulate all matters relating to plant protection, administer and enforce sanitary and phytosanitary measures, undertake inspection and grading of plants and plant produce at the ports of entry and exit, regulate import and export of plants and plant materials, the liaison office for international conventions relating to plant variety protection, plant protection, seed certification and dealing with endangered species or any other related conventions ensuring quality of agro inputs and produce in Kenya.
KEPHIS supports the administration and enforcement of food safety measures through inspection and monitoring of toxic levels of pesticides residues, microbiological agents and other contaminants in agricultural produce, irrigation water and fertilizer quality. KEPHIS is also the appointed Agent and Public Analyst of the Public Health Department of the Ministry of Health with respect to the analysis, certification and enforcement of the pesticide residue standards in fresh produce. It further enforces official controls by undertaking food safety audits for Food Business Operators (FBOs) dealing with food of plant origin to verify compliance to regulatory and market food safety requirements. KEPHIS undertakes the National Pesticide Residues Monitoring Program for both local and export agricultural produce thereby supporting trade and advising on the level of pesticide residues in food sold in the local markets including supermarkets as well as provide a status of compliance of exports with international requirements namely Maximum Residues Limits (MRLs). The data obtained is used to address emerging trends in market in Kenya and focus the training of stakeholders in the value chain.
KEPHIS roles aim at protecting consumer health and the environment, ensuring compliance with market requirements and promoting local and international trade and access to markets.