Crack­down on un­safe and ex­pired food prod­ucts con­tin­ues

Zululand Observer - Monday - - NEWS - Gugu Myeni

THE KZN Depart­ment of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment, Tourism and En­vi­ron­men­tal Af­fairs (EDTEA) has again called on con­sumers to re­port shops sell­ing un­safe and ex­pired food.

This comes af­ter au­thor­i­ties raided shops in Man­deni last week where ex­pired food was con­fis­cated.

The raid, led by EDTEA, the South African Po­lice Ser­vice, Home Af­fairs, Depart­ment of Labour and the Man­deni Mu­nic­i­pal­ity, is part of gov­ern­ment’s in­ter­ven­tion to crack down on un­safe food be­ing sold to cus­tomers.

EDTEA MEC Sihle Zikalala de­scribed the raid in Man­deni as a re­sound­ing suc­cess.

‘Con­sumers have a re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure that the goods they buy are safe. They must check the ex­piry dates,’ he said.

Zikalala re­cently warned of stern ac­tion to be taken against busi­nesses that flout con­sumer rights.

The depart­ment has been con­duct­ing in­spec­tions at var­i­ous busi­ness sites where un­fair busi­ness prac­tices were un­cov­ered.

‘What we have dis­cov­ered dur­ing our in­ves­ti­ga­tions is shock­ing to say the least.

‘Some busi­nesses are tak­ing ad­van­tage of our poor and vul­ner­a­ble com­mu­ni­ties and we have de­cided to take dras­tic steps to stop it.

‘We have found shops that sell per­ish­able food that ex­pired as far back as 2015. These in­cluded in­fant food prod­ucts,’ Zikalala said.

The MEC said his depart­ment would con­tinue to con­duct unan­nounced in­spec­tions to deal with the es­ca­lat­ing abuse of con­sumer rights.

‘We are in the process of es­tab­lish­ing a con­sumer court to swiftly deal with con­tra­ven­tions of the law.

‘We want our of­fi­cials to not only tell us how far they have pro­gressed in terms of con­sumer aware­ness, but also re­port on ac­tions they have taken against non­com­ply­ing busi­nesses.’

Last month the Na­tional En­vi­ron­men­tal Health Chief Direc­torate wrote let­ters to all 52 dis­trict mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties and met­ros ask­ing them to con­duct in­spec­tion blitzes at all food premises.

Con­sumers can con­tact the Depart­ment of Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment, Tourism and En­vi­ron­ment Af­fairs’ pro­tec­tion hot­line on 0800 333667 to re­port any prob­lems.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.