Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) has expressed concern over a number of pre-certified products on the market when Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) is there to check every product is certified.
CAMA executive director John Kapito on Tuesday said that such products if left unchecked could be a health hazard to people.
“MBS needs to be vigilant and give consumers assurance of quality of products, especially those with pre-certified mark.
“We have been monitoring this issue for some time and we feel MBS needs to handle this issue with urgency.
“We want assurance from the bureau that any company handling products, especially edible products has the right processing equipment which produces quality products,” said Kapito.
He said Cama noted the risks underlying the proliferation of pre-certified products on the market and has been engaging MBS on the same.
Reacting to the concern, MBS spokesperson Annie Maliha said the bureau conducts certification evaluations from time to time; hence, no need for the public to be alarmed by products with pre-certification status.
She said MBS gives pre-certification after a firm passes MBS quality test, awaiting certification mark.
“A product may be pre-certified, but after a next visit, we may find that it is not complying with the standards. In view of this, drastic measures are taken in line with our standard procedure,” said Maliha
She cited an example of Nyika bottled water, which currently has pre-certified mark, saying the company changed its premises; hence, the current status.
Maliha said one of the requirements for product pre-certification is that a product has to be verified with the MBS code of hygienic conditions.
The pre-certification issue is just among several others puzzling consumers as there are also several dubious products with no quality certification seals on shelves across the country.
Maliha, however, cautioned consumers not to rush for any product on the street, but instead check for its authenticity if in doubt.
Meanwhile, MBS has released 61 new standards that can be used by stakeholders.
The standards, among others, include dressed poultry, baker’s yeast, cassava crisps, medical syringes, risk management- guidelines and animal feeds and food stuffs.