Zim to conduct DNA tests on SA meat
Fin24 - Mar 5th 2013, 07:32
Harare - Zimbabwe is working on putting stringent measures on meat imports from South Africa amid concerns of contaminated meat products from the country.
According to The Standard newspaper, Zimbabwe has moved to secure border and entry points to ensure that contaminated meat products from South Africa are not imported into the country.
Freddy Chinyavanhu, deputy director at the Food Standards Advisory Board (FSAB,) was quoted as saying ministry of health and child welfare officials had held a meeting with the Shipping and Freight Association of Zimbabwe (SFAZ), giving them strict guidelines on the importation of food products.
According to the new regulations, Zimbabwe will now send food inspectors to South Africa, where they will inspect any meat products before they can be imported into the country.
Chinyavanhu said before any meat could be imported into Zimbabwe, importers needed to produce a sanitary certificate, following a pre-shipment exercise that would have been conducted in the country of origin.
To be certain of the ingredients of meat, inspectors must conduct DNA tests with importers expected to meet the costs of sending inspectors to South Africa.
Zimbabwe has resorted to these measure following reports of a fair share of fraudulent meat products on the South African market that might end up being shipped to the country.
According to a study by meat scientists from Stellenbosch University traces of donkey, goat and water buffalo were found in up to 68% of the 139 minced meats, burger patties, deli meats, sausages and dried meats that were tested.
The study also found plant ingredients which were not declared on the products’ packaging labels.
The meat scandals started in Europe and have now spread to Asia and other parts of the world.
An imported lasagne brand was pulled from the shelves in Hong Kong, while Czech authorities recently ordered similar action on frozen meals mislabelled as beef.
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