RWANDA – The Rwanda Food and Drug Authority (Rwanda FDA) has embarked on a campaign to increase knowledge on its role, functions, regulations and guidelines related to required food safety standards among its stakeholders.

Over the past three years, Rwanda FDA has registered success stories in ensuring food safety. Nevertheless, there is still need to increase awareness about its services, food regulations, as well as guidelines established to ensure food safety standards.

To this end, in collaboration with  Land O’Lakes venture 37, through Trade of Agriculture Safely and Efficiently in East Africa Project (TRASE) as well as Private Sector Federation (PSF), the authority’s  Food and Drug Inspection and Safety Monitoring Department has commenced a 2 days awareness creation workshop for the stakeholders involved in food business operations.

The campaign is expected to increase the turn up of applications for premise licensing, good manufacturing practices (GMP), importation and exportation both in numbers and quality.

It will also increase the compliance to different existing regulations and guidelines especially post marketing surveillance system, food promotion and advertisement control.

In addition, a comprehensive data on possible issues facing industries towards safety compliance shall be compiled and a detailed report shall be produced and shared with the management for planning purposes and decision making.

“We have commenced an awareness creation workshop for stakeholders in the food sector to increase knowledge and  compliance to different existing regulations and guidelines. Discussions on possible issues facing food industries towards safety compliance are also under  way,” the authority said in a tweet.

One of the twitter users, Jules Nyiridandi, pointed out that the FDA should also raise awareness to clearing agents, customs authority and transporters who are key stakeholders in the food sector supply chain.

New regulations for alcoholic beverages

The regulator recently introduced directives for operators in the production, transportation and trade of alcoholic beverages.

According to a letter to industry stakeholders signed by Dr.Emile Bienvenu, the Director General of FDA, packaging of alcoholic beverages in plastic containers is not allowed for any kind of alcohol. FDA noted that alcohol can only be packaged in ways that are permitted by the authorities when the product receives authorization.

“We have commenced an awareness creation workshop for stakeholders in the food sector to increase knowledge and  compliance to different existing regulations and guidelines.”

The packaging of the drinks should have clear writing indicating the nature of product, the producer as well as details of ingredients. As such, manufacturers are prohibited from packaging their products in fellow producers packaging be it in bottles or crates.

 The FDA also noted that vehicles involved in the distribution of alcohol should have the correct documentation which show the source and destination of the products, delivery notes, operational license as well as registration certification from FDA.

In addition, it cautioned against any practices that could lead to the contamination of alcohol. Traders and distributors will be required to only buy their stock from licensed operators as well as have proof of the purchase.

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