TANZANIA – As Tanzania joins the global community to commemorate the World Food Safety Day, the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) has reminded consumers to be vigilant in assessing the quality and safety of food to avoid consuming contaminated food.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO), unsafe food limits trade because where food is not safe, there can be no food security.
It also points out that in a world where the food supply chain has become more complex, any adverse food safety incident has a negative impact on public health, trade and the economy.
The Acting TBS Director General, Mr. Johannes Maganga noted that consumers have the first and foremost responsibility of ensuring that food consumed is safe. This is despite the efforts made to remind all stakeholders of the need to observe food safety standards.
He underscored the importance of good hygiene within a food production environment to avoid contamination with pathogens, poisonous chemicals, hard stones, bones and other garbage that may result in foodborne illnesses.
“Consumers have the right to get accurate information in the product labels including manufacturing and expiry dates to help them make an informed decision when making purchases.
“When you go to the market to buy maize, you must make sure that they are of high quality. This applies to all food items that before you decide to buy, you must make sure that they are in good condition including the facilities where they are conserved,” Maganga said.
He urged the consumers to carefully read information provided on product labels and ensure the restaurants where they eat observe good sanitation.
The Acting Director General reiterated that food safety is not a one-man show hence should involve stakeholders’ contribution in the whole production chain.
He informed that TBS prepares standards for food items, inspects industries, markets as well as import food items so that they meet the required health standards.
“Everyone has the right to safe, nutritious and sufficient food. Still today, almost one in ten people in the world fall ill after eating contaminated food. When food is not safe, children cannot learn, adults cannot work,” he stated.
Food Safety Day is commemorated to remind stakeholders of the critical role in ensuring that food stays safe at every stage of the food chain from production to harvest, processing, storage, distribution, all the way to preparation and consumption.