Business owners who con-travene the recently gazetted meat labelling regulations face being fined up to
R1 million of their annual turnover or 12 months’ imprisonment.
This comes after research by Stellenbosch University revealed earlier this year that meat was not being labelled accurately and that some products contained undisclosed meat products.
According to Sidwell Medupe, spokesperson for the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the regulations, which form part of section 24 of the Consumer Protection Act, is designed to force processed and dried meat manufacturers and retailers to disclose what their meat contains.
“It is imperative that what is put out for human consumption be labelled. Consumers have the right to know what they are buying and eating,” said Medupe.
In terms of the regulations, businesses involved in the packaging of processed and dried meat products must provide the following infor-mation when labelling their processed and dried meat products: the name, quantity, measure, weight or gauge of the products; the name of the producer of the goods; the ingredients of which the goods consist, or material of which the goods are made, including a plain language description of the animal from which any particles, portions or constituents of meat were derived; and the mode of manufacturing the goods.
Says Medupe: “Consumers play an important role in monitoring compliance with the regulations. If something is not labelled, consumers can call the DTI or the National Consumer Commission to report non-compliance.”