Influx of Unmarked Foods on The Market Raises Concern

A cross-section of supermarkets, retail shops and street vendors are selling goods that have no Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) ‘Q’ mark.
Goods displayed inside a supermarket

Audio 5

The influx of unmarked foods on the market has raised concern among buyers.  

A cross-section of supermarkets, retail shops and street vendors are selling goods that have no Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) ‘Q’ mark. 

The consumables commonly on the market are packed roasted seeds like maize, groundnuts, ghee, honey, Sim - Sim, herbal products like Kukumamga (nutmeg), crisps, fried wheat made products and fresh fruits, animal products like meat and chicken. 

Cohen Byaruhanga, a resident of Kyebando in Kampala thinks the influx of unmarked consumables in Kampala is due to laxity exhibited by the enforcement arms like Kampala City Council Authority and Uganda National Bureau of Standards -UNBS. 

He says this endangers people but in Uganda, that is how some things are done without minding about people’s health and safety. 

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Sarah Kyakuwa, a supervisor at Peoples Supermarket in Mpererwe, Kasangati town council says they are aware of UNBS team monitoring but can elude them, in case they have unmarked goods that may put their business in jeopardy.

She says that after receiving the certificate from the town council, they are left at liberty to admit foods from locals with ease because the authorities don’t monitor regularly.

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Fred Bwiire, a product consumer residing along Mawanda road says many packed foods domestically made are vended and sold in shops and supermarkets, but it remains the duty of government to monitor and control foods on the market to protect people from harm.

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Maureen Nyakato, a manager at Kwik Save supermarket on Mawanda road says that they usually ask people making parked foods to bring in samples that are tasted locally before admitting the goods to be sold on the shelves. 

She says domestic food makers decry high costs of registration with UNBS, taxes from Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), KCCA and forming companies before they can sell their products. 

Daniel Muhumuza NuweAbine, KCCA spokesperson says that whoever is involved in the production of food is inspected and given health and safety certificates. He says that for the vendors the enforcement teams are always on the streets to deter any unsafe foods from being sold. 

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Barbara Kamusiime, UNBS Senior Public Relations Officer says they engage stakeholders and domestic food makers on food safety guidelines they must follow. 

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According to the UNBS for a product to have a ‘Q’ mark it must be tested at a fee ranging from 15,000 to 100,000 shillings depending on the food type. 

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