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Name: Sommer
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Date: 30 Mar 17 12:38pm
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Name: Chu
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Date: 30 Mar 17 12:38pm
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Name: Novella
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Date: 30 Mar 17 12:37pm
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Name: Efghijklmn
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Date: 30 Mar 17 12:36pm
– aimed at tackling unlabelled foods on local marketIn a matter of months the Food and Drug Department will be undertaking a “seize and destroy” tactic to tackle the protracted challenge of unlabelled food products on the shelves of some establishment.Food and Drug Director, Marlan ColeFood and Drug Director, Marlan Cole, told this publication yesterday that this approach is being embraced to address what he described as a “lawless situation” that has permeated the society for too long. Moreover, he informed that his Department will no longer sit by and let the risky practice continue unabated.He warned that the Food and Drug Department is entirely against the repackaging of food products, as he alluded to vendors opting to repackage products such as milk in unmarked packages.  This state of affairs, he noted, could not only result in contamination but trickery on the part of some vendors.“It is a complete violation of the Food and Drug Act, ” said Cole, who also pointed out that repackaged products that are also unlabelled could prove to be a further challenge for the Department. This is in light of the fact that “if an unlabelled package is found to be contaminated we can’t prosecute anybody, because it is not represented by anybody.”As such, he noted that the intent of his Department is to bring some semblance of order and discipline on the local market in the quest to protect consumers.“We have to ensure that people respect the laws of Guyana and in doing so, we have to be able to address safety risks and even unfair competition, because there are people out there doing the right thing and they are being short-changed because of the illegal practices engaged by others.”In the strategic process, the Department will also be clamping down on some supermarkets that engage in repackaging. He explained that repackaging is only allowed at supermarkets that have been granted a permit from the Food and Drug Department to become involved in such undertakings.“We have to first inspect the premises and ensure that the condition is sanitary enough before a permit is granted, but some supermarkets seem to think that they have the right to repackage without permission. However, that is not the case, and we will not tolerate it, ” Cole said, as he observed that “some are even re-packaging on the roadsides.”As of yesterday, the Department commenced sending out letters to selected defaulting proprietors requesting that they voluntarily remove repackaged and unlabelled food products from their shelves, Cole disclosed.  He added that businesses across the country engaged in such practices will be similarly targeted.As part of the process, the National Food Safety and Control Committee of the Department will next week conduct a meeting to detail a strategy that will be implemented to address the situation on a national scale. According to Cole, the Committee has representation from each administrative region and these representatives will be tasked with disseminating warning letters to proprietors in their respective regions.It is expected that within the next two to three months the Department would have appropriately warned all proprietors, after which, the “seize and destroy” plan will be carried out.In a statement issued yesterday, Cole outlined that the Department is advising consumers against the purchase of improperly packaged, unsealed and unlabelled foods such as flour, milk powder, powdered spices, seasonings and salt.According to him, the absence of a label on the product clearly eliminates the unknown manufacturers or re-packager from any liability in the event that the food product is found to be contaminated and/or hazardous. In addition, there is no guarantee that the premises where the product was manufactured or repackaged was approved or inspected by the Department, or that the personnel handling the food are knowledgeable about the tenets of good manufacturing practices.Cole noted too that a product that is repackaged at the retail level is usually unsealed and also stands a greater chance of becoming contaminated with physical and/or chemical matter, whether by deliberate means or accidentally. Contaminants, according to him, could include cleaning compounds such as soap powder, wholesale jerseys china, insecticides, rodent droppings and airborne particles.Added to this, he observed that “the failure to ensure that the product is properly labelled could result in a mix up of commodities at the time of purchase; for example salt may be mistaken for white sugar or Epsom salts for Monosodium Glutamate (popularly referred to as Aji no Moto in Guyana).”Moreover, consumers who fail to heed the advice of the Department will run the risk of purchasing foods that maybe adulterated, short weighted, expired, or more importantly, contaminated with disease-producing and spoilage micro-organisms as a result of poor hygiene practices during handling, preparing, packaging and storage.According to the Food and Drugs Regulations of 1977, Chapter 34:04, Section (18) (1), “No person shall sell a food unless a label is applied to the food in compliance with these regulations. (2)  On the main panel (iii) a correct declaration of the net contents in terms of weight, volume, or number in accordance with the usual practice in describing the food. (b) On any panel (i) a complete list of ingredients in descending order of the proportion or quantity of each ingredient is stated in terms of percentage. (ii) The name and address of the manufacturer of, or the person preparing the food and its country of preparation or origin.”
Name: Stormy
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Date: 30 Mar 17 12:36pm
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