Public concern regarding the selling of “fake foods” compelled the National Department of Health to issue an urgent directive to investigate allegations made regarding the sale of food products, especially products not labelled in accordance with the REGULATIONS RELATING TO THE LABELLING AND ADVERTISING OF FOODSTUFFS, R146 OF 01 MARCH 2010.
According to Regulation 146:
– No person shall manufacture, import, sell or offer any pre-packed foodstuffs for sale, unless the foodstuff container or the bulk stock, from which it is taken, is labelled in accordance with these regulations.
– No person shall import, manufacture, sell, distribute or donate foodstuffs, unless a date marking is clearly indicated on the label or container of such foodstuff.
– The date shall be preceded by appropriate words “best before” and/or “use by” and/or “sell by”, depending on the nature of the product; Provided that abbreviations shall not be permitted, except “BB” for “best before”, but the preceding words shall be written out in full.
– The date marking may not be removed or altered by any person.
Consequently, a joint food safety “blitz” was undertaken by the Garden Route District Municipality: Knysna Municipal Health section on the 13th September 2018 in collaboration with the following stakeholders:
– Knysna S.A.P.S. officials
– Knysna Municipality Law Enforcement officials
– Knysna Municipality Environmental Practitioner
The safety “blitz” was undertaken at informal (“spaza shops “) situated within the different Greater Knysna areas.
The primary objectives of the joint operation focussed on the following:
– Compliance of premises in terms of the applicable legislation (Regulation 638 – Governing general hygiene
requirements for food premises, the transport of food and related matters)
– Compliance in terms of the Business Act – Act 71 0f 1991 (Knysna Municipality mandate)
– Criminal activities and offences (S.A.P.S. mandate)
The operation was facilitated by four Environmental Health Practitioners of the Knysna office and a total of 12 premises were inspected.
A total of 3 fines were issued to non-compliant premises and formal notices will be served on all premises that were visited, to address the non-compliance issues that were identified.
During the debriefing session that was held after completion of the successful operation, various issues and challenges were discussed; these issues will be prioritised during the next operations within the Greater Knysna area.