Bulawayo clamps down on expired goods


BULAWAYO — The city of Bulawayo has launched an operation to clamp down on food outlets selling expired products amid revelations that many shops were selling rotten goods.
Bulawayo City Council (BCC) health inspectors recently condemned foodstuffs from 13 supermarkets after establishing that they were no longer suitable for human consumption.
The local authority frequently conducts health inspections in a bid to safeguard the people’s health by ensuring that only fresh products are sold.
According to a council report, the director of health services, Zanele Hwalima, revealed that the city had beefed up its health inspections to deal with the unscrupulous businesspeople.
“Our health inspections on food outlets have increased in frequency and this has assisted us in establishing that about 13 supermarkets in the city were selling expired and rotten food, posing a serious risk to consumers’ health as chances of food poisoning become high,” the report reads.
“Due to the rampant importation of food items from abroad, it is necessary that food inspections be carried out more frequently in food outlets in the city,” Hwalima said.
From the 13 supermarkets, 367kgs of meat were found not suitable for human consumption. As much as 922 litres of syrup drinks, 41kgs of flour, 12kgs of tinned foods, 4kgs of cereals, 23kgs of rice, and 7,5kgs of peanut butter were also condemnedHealth inspectors established that expired goods were still on the shelves in supermarkets.
The Environmental Health staff was also frequently visiting business premises to ensure that they were licensed and that good hygiene practices were being maintained.
Hwalima said the shortage of vehicles to conduct the exercise was hampering the operations.
A manager from one of the supermarkets selling expired products blamed the intermittent power cuts.
“Excessive power cuts are the major problem we face,” he said. “Although we have generators, sometimes they cannot do as much as electricity can.
“However, we also try by all means to constantly check our foodstuffs to make sure that they have not yet expired and are up to date.”