Tanzania’s standards watchdog impounds low quality food items

TANZANIA – Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) has impounded low quality food items in three western regions of Kigoma, Rukwa and Katavi in a move aimed at protecting consumers from using substandard goods.

TBS conducted operations in 11 councils of the three western regions and managed to seize food and cosmetic products weighing 32.2 kilogrammes and valued 97.7m/-.

The Acting TBS Western Zone Manager, Rodney Alanga said that the impromptu operations were carried in warehouses, wholesale and retail shops, at the boarders and in the ports.

“The objective of carrying the operations in the western regions is to remove from the market low quality and hazardous products and ultimately protect consumers’ health,” he said.

He said after completing all the legal procedures, the food products seized will be destroyed.

“TBS took initial measures to remove from the market all goods that have not met the required standards and other processes are taking place within 14 days according to the notice issued,” he informed.

The operations uncovered that some business people were selling expired food unregistered by TBS. Alanga said some of the challenges that emerged during the operations are that most of business people dealt with smuggled goods, failure to inspect expiry dates and keeping records of the procurements.

He said TBS will continue to carry out impromptu inspections in various parts of the country to uproot poor quality goods from the market in collaboration with Tanzania Revenue Authority (TRA), police force, regional, district authorities.

Just last week, the regulator issued licenses and certificates of using standards mark of quality to 302 medium and large-scale manufacturers after meeting the required standards.

The TBS standards mark of quality makes consumers buy goods produced by entrepreneurs with confidence.

On the other hand, it protects the manufacturers from competing with inferior products and enables them to prove to the market that their products satisfy all the requirements specified in the standards.

TBS is continuing to set aside budget to train small scale entrepreneurs and grant them certificates and licenses of using standards quality market, thus supporting the government’s quest to build an industrial economy.

In 2021/22, TBS set aside 256m/- (US$ 110505.96) for serving entrepreneurs countrywide, training and offering them licenses and certificates after meeting the required standards.

With the government covering all costs as an incentive to promote small scale businesses to grow and contribute to economic growth, business people can now acquire quality standard marks for their products free of charge.

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