Food labelling compliance research in zimbabwe

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Research on the compliance to food labelling regulations by companies in zimbabwe

Transcript of Food labelling compliance research in zimbabwe




    Student Name: Joseph Ndondo

    Student Number: N0110859W

    Course: Food Nutrition

    Lecturer: Mr. Mangoma


    A survey on the compliance of locally manufactured and imported food products to food

    labelling regulations.

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    A detailed survey was conducted to determine the compliance of food producers to local and

    international food labelling guidelines. Ten different foodstuffs were sampled and involved in the

    study. These were PRObands rice, Irvines mixed portions, Yum yum peanut butter, Heineken lager

    beer, Victoria Self raising flour, Nestle cerelac, Dlite pure cooking oil and Olivine buttercup

    margarine. Labels of various foodstuffs were analyzed and were compared to local and

    international standards to check if they were complying with the specified labelling regulations.

    Out of the ten foodstuffs, only three were found to be complying (Yum Yum peanut butter,

    Heineken beer and Dlite cooking oil). These findings showed that there was a 30% conformance

    score. All the conforming products/ foodstuffs were imports (foreign brands). The survey findings

    clearly revealed that companies, especially local firms were not wholly complying with food

    labelling standards. This shows that there might be some loopholes in the enforcement of the food

    laws. Strict penalties should be slapped on defaulting firms, and/or suspensions of licences.

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    To analyze various food labels of ten different foodstuffs.

    To grasp and understand food labelling regulations.

    To understand which information, by law, must appear on food products.

    To check if the labels are complying with local food labelling regulations.

    To check if the labels are complying with international food labelling codes.

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    Food labelling is the primary means of communication between the producer and seller of food on

    one hand, and the purchaser and consumer on the other. ( ). Food

    labelling regulations prescribe rules for the labelling of food which is in whole or in part, intended

    for human consumption or which is intended for entry into, or to be used in the manufacture of,

    any substance. In Zimbabwe these regulations are embodied in the Food and Food Standards (Food

    Labelling) Regulations, 2002 as amended by S.I. 95 of 2003. These regulations apply to all foods

    which are sold or manufactured for sale in Zimbabwe. Other regulations include those of voluntary

    bodies like Standards Association of Zimbabwes (SAZ) ZWS ISO 22005:2008: (Traceability in

    the feed and food chain General principles, and basic requirements for systems design and

    implementation) and ZWS ISO 22000:2005: (Food safety management systems requirements for

    organization in the food chain). The most important feature of labelling or labels is nutrition

    labelling. It is a description intended to inform the consumer of nutritional properties of a food;

    Nutritional labelling consists of two components

    (a) Nutrient declaration

    (b) Supplementary nutrition information

    Nutrient declaration means a standardized statement or listing of the nutrient content of a food.

    Nutritional labeling aims at providing the consumer with information about a food so that a healthy

    and wise choice of food can be made. (

    Food labelling assist consumers in making informed food choices; encourage food manufactures

    to apply sound nutrition principles in the formulation of foods and regulates misleading or

    deceptive labels and claims. Zimbabwe also subscribes to international food laws. It has been a

    member since 1985 of the Codex Alimentarius (Latin, meaning Food Code) Commission, a 170

    member intergovernmental body, established by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the

    United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO), with the purpose of protecting

    the health of consumers and ensuring fair practices in the food trade. The Commission also

    promotes coordination of all food standards work undertaken by international governmental and

    non-governmental organizations.

    The Codex alimentarius is divided into the following sections:

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    1. general standard for the labelling of prepackaged foods (CODEX STAN 1-1985)

    2. general standard for the labelling of food additives when sold as such (CODEX STAN 107-


    3. general standard for the labelling of and claims for prepackaged foods for special dietary

    uses (CODEX STAN 146-1985)

    4. general guidelines on claims (CAC/GL 1-1979)

    5. guidelines on nutrition labelling (CAC/GL 2-1985)

    6. guidelines for use of nutrition and health claims (CAC/GL 23-1997)

    7. general guidelines for use of the term HALAL

    The local food law is embodied in the food and food standards (food labelling) regulations, 2002,

    however additional labelling is also covered in subsections specific to foodstuffs such as:

    Food and Food Standards (Flour, Bread and Cereals) Regulations, 1972

    Food And Food Standards (Fish And Fish Products) Regulations, 1990

    Food and Food Standards (Peanut and Peanut Products) Regulations, 1990

    Food and Food Standards (Poultry, Poultry Meat and Poultry Products) Regulations,1990


    The name and business address of the manufacturer

    The name and address of the manufacturer, packer or seller must be stated on the label. Consumers

    can then contact the manufacturer if they have a complaint about a product or if they wish to know

    more about it. (Food and Food Standards (Food Labelling) Regulations, 2002) Statutory

    Instrument 265 of 2002

    Weight and volume

    The weight or volume of the food must be shown on the label. By comparing the weight with the

    price of different brands, consumers can make sure that they are getting value for money. Some

    foods such as bread, tea and butter are only sold in standard amounts. (

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    The common or usual name of the food

    It is important that the name of the food must be clearly stated and not be ambiguous or misleading.

    If the food has been processed in some way, the process must be included in the title e.g. dried

    apricots, salted peanuts, and smoked bacon.

    Fig 1. A typical labelled cereal box


    If the food is made from two or more ingredients, the common or usual name of each such

    ingredient must be stated, in order of weight, according to the amounts that were used to make the

    food, starting with the largest ingredient and ending with the smallest. The ingredients or

    proportions of any article shall be set out on the label in type of a uniform size and prominence

    throughout. Pork fat, lard and beef fat shall always be declared by their specific names. Food

    additives and water must also be included in the list if they have been added. Where the food

    contains any artificial flavouring or artificial colouring the name of the artificial flavouring or

    artificial colouring must be labelled. Where the food contains a chemical preservative,

    immediately preceding or following the name of the preservative ingredient, the words added as

    a preservative must be added. No label on any article of food shall contain the words

    vitaminised, vitamin-fortified or enriched, or any words which may be construed as

    indicating that such fortifying ingredients have been added to or produced in such article of food,

    without the written approval of the Secretary. (

    Best before date

    The law requires the producers to provide and label the date of minimum durability in the form of

    Best before Foods have a best before date, after which the foods may not be at their

    best, with regard to flavour, colour and texture, even though they will probably be safe if they have

    been stored according to the instructions on the label

    Genetically modified foods

    The presence of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or ingredients produced from GMOs

    must be indicated on the label.

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    Packing/code number

    It is a code which is required by law to appear on the label. It helps to identify batches of food in

    the event that they need to be recalled by the manufacturer, packer or producer.

    Language, print and print size

    The labelling information particulars a required to appear on the label in English language. Another

    predominant language may be used in addition to English in areas where English is not the pre-

    dominant language. The print should be clear, prominent, legible and indelible print should be

    used. A significant contrast should be maintained between the text and background so as to