Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) has, with immediate effect, suspended operations of four food and beverages production companies for non – compliance to minimum hygiene standards.
The four food production companies are Universal Industries at Ginnery Corner in Blantyre, Pacific Hotel and Conference Centre, Stary Puffs and Vrushadri Spirits Limited in Lilongwe.
Speaking in an interview, MBS Executive Director, Davlin Chokazinga, said the companies have been suspended from offering services as stipulated in the Malawi standards of food processing and production units.
“We found that the companies were not adhering to hygienic conditions contrary to the Malawi Standard number 21 of the Food Processing Code of Hygienic conditions which empowers MBS to close down institutions which do not comply with stipulated guidelines.
“That is why we temporarily shut down the companies,” said Chokazinga.
However, he said the companies have been given some time to improve on the areas lacking the hygiene, noting that, that can only be done while the units are closed temporarily.
“These companies are supposed to maintain hygienic conditions being food production firms in the country. The suspension will therefore be lifted depending on how soon they will rectify the problems, if not, they will be taken to court to justify why they put lives of consumers at risk,” he warned.
Chokazinga, therefore, assured people in the country that the bureau would continue to inspect production and manufacturing companies regularly to ensure sustained compliance to set standards.
However, Universal Industries Limited management insisted that the only person who could comment on the matter was the Production Manager who was out of the country on official duties at the time of going to press.
Further attempts to talk to management of Pacific Hotel in Lilongwe did not pay off as the reception line was persistently busy.