The Department of Health has launched a probe into claims of fake food being sold by foreigners in South Africa according to Times LIVE.
According to the department it has received a lot of complaints, and various municipalities have been conducting raids on these shops.
- fake eggs,
- fake rice,
- fake fish,
- fake mutton,
- 1.25-litre Coca-Cola bottles with things moving in them,
- 1.25-litre bottles of fake Fanta Grape and suspicious Fanta Orange,
- Stoney Ginger Beer that doesn’t say what size it is,
- 2 litre bottles of Twist Granadilla,
- 1 litre bottles of tonic water,
- Albany brown bread,
- Blue Band margarine,
- syrup being sold as honey,
- baked beans in a fish tin,
- Valpré bottled water,
- and baby food, including Purity and infant formula.
How fake is this stuff? The rice is reportedly made out of plastic.
The IOL report states that consumers suspect that these goods are being cranked out by backyard factories – though this is unconfirmed and the department is currently investigating to find the source.
Ekurhuleni has found: “In the previous month alone, of the 211 facilities inspected, 115 have been found to be non-compliant with the regulated general hygiene requirements for food premises, and transport of food and related matters requirements.”
Fake food is a serious problem that requires a strong response.
Consider the whole listeriosis crisis. The crisis was tracked back to Enterprise and Rainbow chickens. Enterprise is part of Tiger Brands, which had been engaged in cost cutting for years.
So anyway not one year later after that report I linked from the Sunday Times, and we’ve got reports about how a deadly strain of listeria had spread to the air vents in Tiger’s Polokwane factory, playing a major role in the deadliest outbreak in history.
And this is a big, old, generally considered reputable up until the crisis, business.
Now imagine it is some backyard operation that is producing fakes to undercut the big suppliers, how good an idea do you think that is?
This is something that has to be investigated on an urgent basis. If it is true, the shops involved need to be shut down and the owners arrested because they are threatening the health of our people.
If it is false, then it could end up fueling xenophobia and harming innocent business owners.