03 Apr 20 Lockdown: buy/offer surplus fresh produce; DOH statement
FoodFocus.com is assisting fresh produce suppliers find alternative supply chains in the wake of the lockdown and the shuttering of the food service industry.
FoodFocus’s Linda Jackson says: “We have been informed by some of fresh produce suppliers that they are anticipating a high surplus of stock in the next few weeks, due to the closure of the restaurant industry, which would normally take large volumes off their hands.
“This could result in unprecedented volume of food waste.
“Food Focus would like to try assist in finding alternative channels for this surplus produce, so if you are a supplier in this position, or a company who is in any way able to purchase and use/distribute excess stock, please contact us immediately.”
IF YOU ARE A COMPANY WITH SURPLUS FRESH PRODUCE:
- Register your business details via this link
- Choose the category called “A Supplier with Surplus Product”
- List your products in the details section.
IF YOU WANT TO PURCHASE SURPLUS PRODUCE:
Here’s an official statement for the food industry from Penny Campbell, Director of Food Control (DOH)….
I thought it pertinent to clarify how Government is operating/should be operating so that issues relating to FOOD SAFETY are clear.
Given that that the President has declared COVID-19 a Disaster, various Ministers are tasked with dealing with areas as per the Disaster Management Act.
In addition, various industry stakeholders have been part of engagements and party to the agreements.
In so far as we all know FOOD SAFETY BEFORE, DURING and AFTER the disaster is NON NEGOTIABLE!
The President has now declared a Lockdown and the same Act is used to elaborate for ALL South Africans (& of course for anyone wanting to do business WITH it)
Again, various Ministers are and have indicated what the rules are etc.
Both the Minister of Trade and Competition and the Minister of Agriculture, Land Affairs & Rural Development have made pronouncements on the issues relating to Food Supply (Food Security & Business Operations). Note, as far as I am aware there has been no pronouncement on Food Safety.
Again let me emphasise FOOD SAFETY BEFORE, DURING and AFTER the Lockdown is NON NEGOTIABLE!
Furthermore, the Acts and Regulations, particularly in Health have not needed amending or changing and thus remain applicable before, during and after the Disaster or Lockdown
Covid-19 is NOT a food safety issue – ie it has not identified to be a route or cause of/for transmission. There is only speculation that the origin of this virus is from wild/exotic animal/s.
International Scientific Risk Assessment Bodies have indicated that it is unlikely, similar to previous Mers – Sars virus family outbreaks for food to transmit the virus.
Thus, the Directorate Food Control continues to respond to ANY query relating to the ACT and FOOD Regulations published thereunder ie it is Business as USUAL under UNUSUAL conditions for FOOD CONTROL.
COVID-19 is a communicable disease and thus there are HEALTH HYGEINE measures that must be considered and implemented as per direction of the lead Minister in this area – the Minister of Health, as well as the OTHER measures put in place during this Disaster and now Lockdown.
In summary, there are no special measures for FOOD CONTROL. The hand hygiene protocols/measures/messages as they relate to Food production / handling / distribution and sale were in the Regulations, have now been heightened and MUST continue beyond the Disaster and Lockdown.
The heightened measures for the general population must continue beyond this pandemic so as not to bring our country to this point ever again!
# Let’s wash our hands
# Let’s comply
# Let’s flag NON compliance
# Let’s not be competitive in Food Control
# Let’s not get to the next stage- Emergency!
# LET’S FLATTEN THE CURVE!
Penny Campbell, Director, Food Control, Department of Health – Issued: 30 March 2020
[Let it be said that Ms Campbell could do with some communications assistance! Ed]