Food safety in SA
ETV were reporting on long expired food being sold in Vanderbijlpark. This follows up on a similar story in Cape Town towards the end of last year (http://www.iol.co.za/news/south-africa/western-cape/hungry-still-eating-expired-food-1.1010964?ot=inmsa.ArticlePrintPageLayout.ot) and the re-worked chickens (http://www.mg.co.za/article/2010-12-21-supreme-poultry-we-do-rework-chickens).
The labeling of food with expiry and best before dates has been voluntary in SA. In 2010 the Department of Health approved new food labeling legislation which was meant to come in on 1 March this year. Under this legislation producers are required to include the following on packaging:
- Use by date on perishables to ensure safety
- Best before date on non-perishables to ensure freshness
- Batch number and manufacturer’s address to ensure traceability
- Declaration of common food-related allergens
- Ingredients list
- Foods that make health claims must provide nutrition information in a standard format
- Quantitative Ingredient Declarations (e.g. % olive oil in margarine)
- Nutritional contents/comparative claims (e.g. ‘low fat’ vs ‘reduced fat’ claims (http://www.ncf.org.za/docs/publications/consumerfair/2010/vol25/part2.pdf)
This can only be good for consumer rights. but:
What will the cost of this be for smaller producers?
What level of monitoring and enforcement will there/can there be? Can the food industry self-regulate?
Given the importance of the informal sector and the bulk breaking and repackaging that takes place, will this changing legislation have any impact on the food safety of the poor?
- foodramblings posted this
University of Cape Town