16 February 2013

Tanzania: TFDA Sets Ablaze Items Worth Sh7 Million in Arusha

The Tanzania Food and Drugs Authority has been going shopping around the local 'Supermarkets' and retail stores in Arusha City, lifting various products from the shelves, before setting them ablaze.

In total, the TFDA which is the official watchdog for foodstuffs and drugs imported and sold locally, collected a consignment of goods valued more than 7 million/- and weighing over 1000 kilograms between them, from various shops, stores and supermarkets in Arusha and reduced them to ashes, under police supervision, after they were reportedly found to be 'unfit for human consumption.'

The TFDA Northern Zone's Manager, Mr Damas Matiko said the authority had been inspecting local outlets for the past one week and discovered a lot of items that though displayed on shelves, were not supposed to be sold to the public due to their conditions.

"Many products had already expired, others did not indicate their 'sale-by' dates on the packages while there were imported products that did not bear properly approved certification of being brought into the country," explained Mr Matiko.

The TDFA also set ablaze all items that did not bear the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) official seals of quality certification. Others had their packages written in Non-English foreign languages, making them difficult to read.

Apparently, many Tanzanians who buy products from shops, supermarkets and drug stores do not bother to check the items' manufacture date, expiry time, origin or even the size and type of contents and components.

The recently impounded goods from local outlets were taken to the Muriet dump-site, located 12 kilometers, in the south of the Municipality, where they were set on fire under tight security.

The destroyed items included canned imported drinks and food items including those of Pepsi and Coca-Cola brands, China-made toothpastes, Baby Cereals, Baby Milk, Corn and Wheat Flakes, imported sugar, tea leaves and variety of exotic Alcoholic drinks.

The Acting District Medical Officer, Dr Japhet Kivuyo who took part in the operation, said most Tanzanians keep wondering where emerging diseases like diabetes and cancer originated from, without knowing that their regular consumption of badly packaged or expired food and drugs was behind their ailments.

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