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25 March 2024 Media Release: Prohibition of Animals at Food Premises

Media Release: Prohibition of Animals at Food Premises

25 March 2024

The food trading sector is responsible for adherence to Food Safety Management Procedures at all times.

Environmental Health Practitioners (EHP) from the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM), are represented within each local town and are responsible for enforcing legislation pertaining to, amongst others – food premises.

According to Johan Compion, GRDM Senior Manager: Municipal Health and Environmental Services: “Food premises refer to any premises where food is being manufactured, processed, produced, packed, prepared, kept, offered, transported, stored, or displayed for sale or for serving to the public in any serving area”.

The current Regulation Governing General Hygiene Requirements for Food Premises, the Transport of Food and related matters is known as Regulation 638 of 22 June 2018, promulgated under the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act, 1972 (Act 54 of 1972). In terms of duties of a person in charge of food premises, Regulation 638 states the following in article 10:
“10. A person in charge of food premises shall ensure that-
(10) an animal, subject to the provisions of any law, is not kept or permitted in a room or area where food is handled, except that –

(a) a guide or service dog accompanying a person with a disability may be permitted in the sales or serving area of the food premises.
(b) fish, molluscs, or crustaceans may be kept alive until prepared for consumption.”

No animal (including any domestic pet), is allowed at any food premises or any area where food is being served to the public, with the exemption of the above scenario.

Regulation R638 also states that a person in charge of food premises must ensure that-

“10(1)(a) he or she is suitably qualified or otherwise adequately trained in the principles and practices of food safety and hygiene, as appropriate, and that the training is accredited or conducted by an inspector, where applicable.”

It remains the responsibility of all food premises owners/managers to empower themselves with knowledge, in terms of their legal obligation regarding all relevant legislation and the requirements contained within the Act, to ensure general compliance of the food trading property which they manage/operate or own.

Offences: Any person who contravenes a provision of these regulations, or allows such a contravention to take place, shall be guilty of an offence and liable for a penalty as provided for under Section 18 of the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act, 1972 (Act of 1972):
1. On the first conviction R400.00.
2. On the second conviction R800.00.
3. On the third conviction R2 000.00.

The GRDM is currently reviewing the enforcement of fines in the greater Garden Route and will implement these structures as soon as the processes are completed.

This includes all premises wanting to apply for exemptions in terms of Regulation 638 of 22 June 2018, promulgated under the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act, 1972 (Act 54 of 1972).

For more information or report any issue elated to this article, contact the following GRDM offices within the Garden Route:

Johan Compion – Senior Manager: Municipal Health, Solid Waste Management & Air Quality Control
Tel: 082 803 5161

Klein Karoo and Kannaland Region
Desmond Paulse – Manager: Municipal Health Klein Karoo
Cell: 083 678 6530

Langeberg (Mossel Bay)
Acting Chief: Municipal Health, Mossel Bay
Cell: 083 630 6108

George (Outeniqua)
Emmy Douglas – Chief: Municipal Health George (Outeniqua)
Cell: 078 457 2824

George (Wilderness)
Acting Chief: Municipal Health George (Wilderness)
Tel: 044 803 1522

Lakes (Knysna)
James McCarthy – Chief: Municipal Health Knysna
Cell: 082 805 9417

Lakes (Bitou)
Gawie Vos – Chief: Municipal Health Bitou
Cell: 083 557 1522

Langeberg (Hessequa)
Haemish Herwels – Chief: Municipal Health Hessequa
Cell: 083 678 6545


Feature image: Shutterstock.