Compulsory specifications for processed meat products
The National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS), an entity of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has published new regulations for processed meats, known as VC 9100. They came into force on 8 October 2019 and will be enforced by the NRCS.
The DTI said that the new regulations were intended to enable inspection of processing plants to avoid a similar tragedy after the recent listeriosis outbreak.
In 2018, the health minister at the time, Aaron Motsoaledi, announced that polony and other products from an Enterprise Foods factory in Polokwane‚ Limpopo‚ had been found to have been the source of the world’s largest outbreak of listeriosis.
The new regulations follow an agreement between the DTI and DoH, and are aimed at effectively regulating categories of processed meat products that are considered high risk to protect the health and safety of consumers.
The NRCS is setting up an extensive regulatory programme of inspections throughout the country. This will enable the government and industry to detect any foodborne bugs early, the DTI said.
Trade and industry minister Ebrahim Patel said: “Our food industry is important to the country’s economic development and job creation. Jobs in the food industry must be secured through measures that provide consumers with appropriate protection.
“We have agreed that a task team comprising officials from the three departments be nominated to consider a dedicated food safety authority for the country,” said Patel.
Health minister Zweli Mkhize said: “This denotes an era of governance where there is effective multisectoral collaboration to protect our people from environmental dangers, while at the same time protecting food and job security. We are very pleased with the resolutions in the interest of preventative strategies for a healthier nation.”
Source: SAAFoST.org.za, BusinessLive.co.za