The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has called upon processors of meat and meat products to own up food safety in their different production lines.
“Safety of the product is the primary concern. If you are dealing in food products, you must take ownership of food safety. You cannot do it because someone is pushing you. “ said Ms. Patricia Bageine Ejalu, the UNBS Deputy Executive Director in charge of Standards.
Ms. Bageine was speaking during an online UNBS stakeholder engagement with processors of meat and meat products discussing the food labelling standards.
The engagement comes after one of the processors of meat and meat products issued a public apology for labelling pork sausages as Halal certified.
“The picture of the pork sausages labelled with Halal is unacceptable. Halal and Pork cannot be used in the same sentence. We sent out a team which found out that there was a gross mistake, a gross misrepresentation and those who did it were involved in profiteering.” Said Dr. Safina Namugga Ngobya, a Principal Standards Officer at UNBS.
Dr. Namugga further stressed that Product labelling for Halal products MUST meet the standards in US 909:2011 General standard for Halal food and US 910:2011 Guidelines for bodies providing Halal Certification.
Mr. Bashir Byansi, the Principal Certification Officer reiterated the call against deceptive labelling amongst processors of meat and meat products.
“Food products shall not be described or presented on any label or in any labelling in a manner that is false, misleading or deceptive, or is likely to create an erroneous impression regarding its character or nature in any respect by words, pictorial or other devices which refer to, or are suggestive either directly or indirectly, of any other product with which such food might be confused, or lead the purchaser or consumer to suppose that the food is connected with such other product.” Said Mr. Byansi.
Key among the labelling requirements for pre-packaged foods is to have the name of the food declared on the label, the list of ingredients, the net contents and drained weights, the name and physical address of the manufacturer, packer, distributor, importer, exporter or vendor of the food, country of origin, Lot identification, Date marking ( production and expiry date), Storage instructions, instructions for use, Quantitative labelling of ingredients; all in the English language and/or any other official language used in the importing East African Partner state, as stated in the standard.
UNBS encourages the public to report any distributor or dealer of substandard products using Toll free line; 0800133133, WhatsApp number; 0713227580 and UNBS social media pages.
The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) is a statutory body responsible for developing, promoting and enforcing standards in protection of public health and safety, and the environment against dangerous and sub-standard products.
For more information, please contact:
Principal Public Relations Officer,
Uganda National Bureau of Standards,
Bweyogerere Industrial Park,
Plot 2 – 12, Kyaliwajala Road,
P.O Box 6329 Kampala, Uganda