The Government Analyst Food and Drug Department recently seized expired Welch’s and V8 juices and other items as part of a stepped-up food safety drive.
In a statement, the Department said it has already inspected 14 supermarkets and 20 storage bonds, including wholesalers, retailers, distributors and importers bonds in addition to points of sale. Notable violations were found and regulatory actions was taken, including the seizure of expired items, products with no expiration dates, those that showed evidence that the expiration date had been tampered with, deformed and rusted cans, and those which boasted close coded dates. Action was also taken against premises that were unsanitary.
During its inspections, the Department seized Welch’s Harvest Blend juice which had expired 18-07-09, V8 Splash Medley which had expired on 20-06-10, Juicy Juice which had expired on 15-03-10, curry powder which featured a 17-05-10 expiration date, pasta sauce which had expired on 19-06-10 and Flavor Mate Chinese Sauce which had expired on 04-04-09.
In the wake of the discoveries, the Department is urging all supermarkets to ensure that mechanisms are in place to effectively monitor the date mark of products in order to make certain that expired products are removed from shelves.
The Department also said all products displayed for sale must be properly labelled in accordance with the Food and Drug Regulations of 1977, Section 18. All mandatory label information must be in English, including the expiry date and country of origin, complete with the name and address of the manufacturer or packager. “Supermarket proprietors must also demand a valid authorisation and/or licence from suppliers as evidence that products are manufactured under hygienic conditions and comply with the label requirements,” the Department said. It also noted that supermarkets that package “high risk products such as milk, cheese, sausage must have designated areas in keeping with best hygiene practice to carry out this activity.”
According to the Department it is currently distributing its requirements to all supermarkets and it advises those not in receipt of the standards to obtain same from its offices in the IAST Building at UG’s Turkeyen Campus.