*** The views expressed in the articles published on this website DO NOT necessarily express the views of the Commercial Farmers' Union. ***
Govt moves to thwart inflow of contaminated meat from SA
March 3, 2013 in Local
THE government is wary that contaminated beef products from South Africa
could have found their way into Zimbabwe, as the country is a net importer
of processed foods from the neighbouring country.
BY NQABA MATSHAZI
It has since moved in to secure borders and entry points to ensure that
contaminated meat products from South Africa are not imported into the
This was after donkey and water buffalo meat traces were found in South
African beef products, raising concern that this meat could have found its
way into the country.
Ministry of Health and Child Welfare officials held a meeting last week with
the Shipping and Freight Association of Zimbabwe (SFAZ), giving them strict
guidelines on the importation of food products.
With the new regulations, food inspectors will be sent to South Africa,
where they will inspect any meat products before they can be imported into
“We had a meeting with the SFAZ and we told them that it was international
best practice that food should be inspected before it is imported,” Freddy
Chinyavanhu, deputy director at the Food Standards Advisory Board (FSAB)
Chinyavanhu said before any meat could be imported into Zimbabwe, importers
needed to produce a sanitary certificate, following a pre-shipment exercise
that would have been conducted in the country of origin.
To be certain of the ingredients of meat, inspectors must conduct DNA tests,
a technology, however, which Zimbabwe does not have.
“Unfortunately, we do not have DNA testing, that is why we resort to
pre-shipments,” Chinyavanhu said, adding that importers would meet the costs
of sending inspectors to South Africa.
The Consumer Council of Zimbabwe (CCZ) said it was happy with the measures
taken by the government to ensure that contaminated meat did not find its
way into Zimbabwe.
“CCZ raised the issue with the FSAB. we wanted to ensure that it did not
trickle down into the country and we wanted to protect consumers in
Zimbabwe,” Rosemary Mpofu, from the consumer watchdog said.
She said, so far, they had not come up with cases where contaminated meat
had been imported into the country.
Mpofu said she hoped the pre-shipment exercise would ensure that
contaminated meat will not make it into Zimbabwe.
However, she said the greatest worry were smugglers who could bring in
“We want to urge members of the public not to buy food from unlicensed
retail outlets,” she advised.
The Standards Association of Zimbabwe (SAZ) said it has also developed
standards for the quality of food being sold in the country.
Sebastian Zuze from SAZ said his body was working with FSAB on standards,
while the board was the regulator.
Health minister, Henry Madzorera referred questions to the FSAB, saying the
body ran its affairs independently, despite it being under his ministry.