|Agenda Item 5||(CAF 05/2)|
NATIONAL FOOD SAFETY SYSTEMS IN AFRICA - A
(Paper prepared by FAO Regional Office for Africa, Accra, Ghana)
In a region where food insecurity, political instability, communicable diseases, natural disasters and other major concerns dominate government agendas and the news media, the importance of food safety is often not well understood. However, food safety is of critical importance to Africa because of its aggravating impact over the above listed concerns.
The 1996 World Food Summit Plan of Action recognized the importance of food safety, as it defined food security as: “…when all people … (have) access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food …”. Furthermore, food-borne illnesses contribute to decreased worker productivity, disability, and even early death, thus lowering incomes and access to food. Food-borne illnesses also contribute to human suffering in the region. There is a high incidence of diarrheal diseases in African children, estimated as 3.3 to 4.1 episodes per child per year. It is estimated that 800,000 children in Africa die each year from diarrhea and dehydration1.
Practices aimed at improving food safety also reduce food losses and increase food availability. In addition, countries that are able to ensure safe food can take advantage of international trade opportunities, thereby increasing income levels. For example, Kenya was able to increase its fish exports to the EU from 742 metric tons in 1999 to 2 818 tons in 2001 as a result of strengthening their food safety measures. For various reasons, governments of the region may not be able to enforce proper food import inspections, causing potential inflow of sub-standard and even unsafe imported food. This lack of access to safe food, low income levels and a sense of injustice in trade issues are often an important factor in increased political turmoil, further underlining the importance of food safety for the region.
Persons suffering from diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria, and other various ailments affecting the region are at a greater risk to be debilitated by unsafe food, as their immune systems are already compromised. Thus, the assurance of safe food is essential to improving the quality of life for those already affected by disease. Equally, persons suffering from food-borne illness are more likely to contract other communicable diseases. Furthermore, food-borne diseases are one of the most important underlying factors for malnutrition and, indirectly, for respiratory tract infections in developing countries. Repeated episodes of food-borne diseases over a period of time can lead to malnutrition with a serious impact on the growth and the immune systems of infants and children.
Natural disasters such as droughts and floods also often affect the region. Crops grown and stored under such conditions are more susceptible to mycotoxin contamination, a harmful naturally occurring toxin. For example, more than 100 deaths were reported in the region in mid-2004, due to acute mycotoxin intoxication.
Unfortunately, the food safety systems in most countries of the region are generally weak, fragmented and not well coordinated; and thus are not effective enough to adequately protect the health of consumers and to enhance the competitiveness of food exports. It is, however, recognized that improving food safety systems has many short and long-term costs and can be a challenging process for many countries to undertake.
Although the situation in every country is affected by the particular country conditions, some common principles and components of an effective food safety system are generally needed in each country. Each of the main components of an effective food safety system will be discussed below, addressing the overall situation of each, as well as recommendations to be considered by the Conference. It should be noted, however, that a full analysis of the food safety control systems in Africa would require a much lengthier and more comprehensive study of the situation in the individual countries, and would go beyond the size limit of the present document.
2. Overview of the components of FSMS in Africa and actions required to address deficiencies
2.1 National food safety policy
Coherent national food safety policies are the foundation for effective food safety management systems. In general, food safety concerns are not adequately addressed in national governmental policies in most African countries; therefore, coordinated and sustainable approaches to the holistic management of food safety cannot be adopted. As previously indicated, most countries of the region do not appreciate the major public health and economic implications of food safety, so food safety remains a low priority in national policy making. Therefore, governments of the region must work to understand the public health and economic benefits of improving food safety systems, and, accordingly, develop coherent national food safety policies, in consultation with all stakeholders, including the food industry, relevant research institutions and consumers.
2.2 Food legislation
The traditional food control systems in most African countries do not provide the concerned agencies with a clear mandate and authority to prevent food safety problems. Furthermore, food legislation that is in line with international requirements (Codex) is lacking in many African countries. As evidenced in Table 1, the existing food legislation is outdated, inadequate, fragmented and can be found in various statutes and codes, creating an evitable confusion among food control enforcement agents, producers and distributors. Enforcement of food legislation is also problematic, often resulting in insufficient consumer protection against fraudulent practices and contaminated food products, and leading to the importation and domestic production of substandard food items as well as trade rejections of food exports from the region. The informal sector, which is often a significant producer and distributor of fresh and processed food products (including street foods2) for direct consumption, is often outside the scope of official control systems and remains the least controlled, except by municipal environmental hygiene authorities.
Basic food laws must emanate from national food safety policies that acknowledge the importance of a science based approach to food safety and clearly define responsibilities for the implementing agencies. Governments are encouraged to utilize tools and advice provided by FAO and WHO in the development of food legislation, as well as all other aspects of national food control systems. In particular, the 2003 FAO/WHO Guidelines for Strengthening National Food Control Systems3 offers interesting options that may be considered in this field. As with food safety policies, all relevant stakeholders must also be involved in the development of food legislation, which should also increase the rate of compliance with the laws and regulations.
2.3 Development of national food standards
Globalization of food markets compels nations to develop food standards that are responsive to the needs of users as well as being accepted and recognized internationally. The WTO SPS Agreement stipulates that national sanitary and phytosanitary standards that are based on internationally agreed Codex Alimentarius, IPPC or OIE standards do not require further scientific justification. As indicated in Table 2, some of the countries of the region have national standards bodies that establish food standards, often based on the relevant Codex standards. However, the food standards authorities in many other countries are not well defined and are not actively engaged in the establishment of national food standards.
As part of the overall food safety management system, national governments should establish food standards based on the Codex Alimentarius. Similar to food safety policies and legislation, all stakeholders, including consumers, must be involved in the development of national food standards.
2.4 Science-based risk assessment of food safety issues
While there is an almost universal agreement that a sound scientific risk assessment is an essential part of the basis for any food safety risk management decision, meeting the need for competent, timely and independent risk assessments presents a considerable challenge to most African countries. Risk assessments are needed for establishing relevant food safety legislations, as well as to assist in the establishment of food inspection priorities and other food safety policies. FAO and WHO have recently developed a Food Safety Risk Analysis Manual that further describes the concept and process of risk assessment, as well as risk management and communication.
However, the number of food safety hazards whose risk must be assessed is large, and expanding. The magnitude of adverse health effects associated with food contaminants continues to expand as scientific research develops additional ways to measure harm. Almost all African countries face similar problems of lack of expertise and difficulty in collecting their own toxicological and exposure assessment data to conduct risk assessments.
Governments of the region should utilize the risk assessments carried out by the FAO/WHO risk assessment bodies in their food safety decision-making. Countries must also actively supply their national data on contaminant levels, food consumption patterns, and all other data requested by the FAO/WHO risk assessment bodies so that these international assessments accurately reflect the situation in countries of the region. However, the countries of Africa often have different needs and priorities than the international bodies for the substances on which to conduct risk assessments. As most countries of the region do not have adequate resources to effectively conduct the needed risk assessments at a national level, a regional risk assessment body may provide a valuable service in conducting risk assessments required by national governments.
2.5 Inspection mechanisms/schemes
An effective food safety management system requires clear inspection policy and procedures that are applied by inspectors who are well trained not only to apply these procedures but also to act as quality assurance advisors and extension officers to the food industry. Food inspectors in Africa suffer generally from (i) a low professional status which is not commensurate with their responsibilities, (ii) a lack of logistical support to carry out the inspections (transport, inspection equipment, etc.) and (iii) the cumulative tasks often requested from them (price control, inspection of non-food consumer items, weights and measures, environmental hygiene, etc.). National food inspection services are often located in the capitals and major cities, with little if any control exercised in small towns and rural areas. Few countries of the region have efficient national import/export inspection and certification systems, as indicated in Table 2. Some countries do conduct partial inspections of meat and/or fish imports and exports. In countries where a strong export market exists in a particular sector, the inspection services are often engaged in the control of the concerned products. In order to benefit from potential food export earnings and to protect themselves against sub-standard imported foods, governments of the region must actively upgrade their inspection systems, in both quality and quantity, to meet their national needs in this field.
2.6 Laboratory support service
Effective enforcement of food legislation and the implementation of food-borne disease surveillance systems require sound and efficient food analysis capabilities at national and sub-national levels. Unfortunately, food control laboratories in the African region are generally very weak, as indicated in Table 2. The majority of public health laboratories do not have the capacity to test for chemical contaminants and naturally occurring toxins. Some identified causes of this weakness are as follows:
Only a few of the testing laboratories in Africa are accredited for specific tests in accordance with the quality, administrative and technical requirements of ISO 17025, the international standard that provides general requirements for the competence of testing and calibration laboratories. As a result, competence in terms of equipment and operator skills, as well as reliability of results may not be satisfactory. Furthermore, food exporters may need to send samples of their products to accredited laboratories outside the country for testing in order to be accepted by the importing country. This adds to the cost and inconvenience of the process of exporting foods from the region.
The countries of the region must give greater priority to strengthening food control laboratories. Neighbouring countries could also work together to develop inter-laboratory testing programmes, joint training programmes or even sub-regional laboratories that could serve the needs of multiple countries. Governments could also work to strengthen public-private partnerships between laboratories to better utilize scarce resources within a country.
2.7 Capability of the food industry to supply safe food
Food production, processing, and marketing in most countries in the region is highly fragmented among a large number of small producers and handlers who lack appropriate knowledge and expertise in the application of modern practices and food hygiene. The challenges and possibilities for these small and medium producers to produce safe and high quality food is further detailed in CAF 05/5. Coupled with the challenges of small and medium enterprises, there are few well established systems for assisting these companies to develop their capacity to provide safe food, as indicated in Table 2. Some countries that actively export products to high-income countries from particular sectors, such as fish, horticultural crops and meat, do have adequate training and support for industries in those sectors. In many of these cases, the food industry has accepted the primary responsibility for food quality and safety, as occurs in other regions of the world. Therefore, the food industry often leads the training and development in these fields, with other stakeholders as facilitators. However, many sectors in many countries are still in need of restructuring to be in line with current food safety and quality assurance requirements, including the application of Good Hygienic Practices (GHP), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) and the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) system.
In addition to food products for export, national governments are also responsible for the safety and quality of food produced for domestic consumption through open markets, supermarkets, schools, hospitals, restaurants, street food vending and other methods. Efforts to improve the safety and quality of foods for these markets are often very poorly financed. Accordingly, all stakeholders, including the food industry, governments and civil society must make a conscious effort to train and equip the food industry to produce safe and high quality food in all the countries of the region.
2.8 Information network on food safety issues
An increasingly important role for national food control systems is the delivery of information and advice to stakeholders across the farm-to-table continuum, both within the country and in other countries. These activities include the following:
Structured and regular acquisition and dissemination of relevant information to the public on food safety problems and corresponding measures taken to resolve them is lacking in most of the countries of the region (Table 3). Such information systems would serve as a basis for building confidence among consumers and the media. This would cause consumers to be prepared to raise issues related to food safety and expect that the concerned agencies will take the necessary action to protect consumers. Furthermore, governments should have a mechanism to share information on outbreaks of food-borne diseases and their results, including the loss of productivity and economic implications. This information is currently not readily acquired or disseminated to the relevant agencies for necessary action.
It is also essential that governments share information with other countries within the region, as well as with countries outside the region. For example, countries should follow the Codex Guidelines for the Exchange of Information in Food Safety Emergency Situations (CAC/GL 19–1995, Rev. 1–2004). Also, many countries recognize the importance of sharing information on food imports that are rejected due to inferior quality or safety, but a network to effectively share this information with other countries has yet to be developed for use by the countries of the region. Concerned agencies also need to have access to information on rejection and/or downgrading of food exports from their country so that corrective actions may be taken.
2.9 Training/education in food safety
It is generally recognized that knowledge related to food safety provides the basis for the development of intervention strategies and initiatives aimed at preventing food-borne illness. However, no single country in the region has established on-going educational programmes for government food control officials, food industry officials and/or consumers. Training/education that does exist is sporadic, not focused and not based on actual and/or possible food safety problems. Most importantly, such education is currently unsustainable because beneficiaries do not appreciate its usefulness enough to prompt them to pay for the services, therefore reducing the quality of education available.
2.10 Consumer awareness raising
The importance of consumer education in the prevention of food-borne illness is universally recognized. When consumers are quality and safety conscious, they are able to complement the efforts of food control agencies in encouraging the food industry to provide good quality and safe food.
In view of the catalytic role played by consumer associations in promoting the quality and safety of food supplies, governments of the region should facilitate the establishment and sustainability of these associations. These associations are active in some parts of Africa, but should be encouraged to increase their efforts to educate consumers and to hold the food industry and governments accountable for safe and high quality food.
2.11 Coordination of food safety activities at national level
Assuring food safety in a global economy requires a high degree of communication, coordination, and cooperation within and between countries. Management of food safety is a multi-sectoral affair, often involving the ministries of health, agriculture, trade/industry and at times fisheries, tourism, and local governments. In the absence of a well-defined national food safety policy with implementation plans, these organizations tend to operate in accordance with their own aspirations of food safety. Furthermore, without well-established responsibilities for these organizations, the scarce resources available in the countries of the region often dissipate through the duplication of efforts. When agencies are nominated to coordinate national food safety activities, they often lack the required resources to perform assigned duties effectively.
Accordingly, a properly established and sustainable co-ordination mechanism with well-defined responsibilities for each agency is essential. However, as evidenced in Table 3, very few countries in the region currently have effectively functioning coordination mechanisms. Conference paper CAF 05/6 further describes the coordination and cooperation at national and regional levels.
2.12 Epidemiological surveillance of food-borne diseases
As previously indicated, many food-borne disease incidents are reported every year in Africa. Numerous factors, many of which are discussed in this document, contribute to this high number of incidents. However, it is extremely important to note that most cases of food-borne disease in the region are not reported, so the true extent of the problem is unknown.
In most countries in the region, the surveillance infrastructure for food-borne diseases of both microbiological and chemical etiology is weak or non-existent. With the exception of cholera (which is subject to the WHO International Health Regulations), there is no obligation to report food-borne disease internationally. As evidenced by Table 4, only some of the countries of the region require national reporting of food-borne disease incident and even fewer actually have accurate reporting. This absence of reliable data on the burden of food-borne disease impedes understanding about its public health importance and prevents the development of risk based solutions to its management.
2.13 Membership in Codex
Most countries in the region (48 out of 53) are members of the Codex Alimentarius Commission and have established National Codex Committees and National Codex Contact Points (Table 4). Most of these countries have also indicated their adoption of one or more Codex standards. Some have utilized Codex standards in the development of their national food legislation while others have, in the absence of other national legislation, enforced Codex standards. Each Codex member country in the region must effectively monitor and adopt Codex standards and participate in the elaboration of Codex standards, codes and guidelines so that these standards reflect the needs of African countries.
2.14 Biosafety concerns (regulations on biotechnology or GMOs)
Only a few countries in the region have established regulatory frameworks concerning foods derived from modern biotechnology, including Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Most of the countries are, however, signatories to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (Table 5). With the rapid development of the application of modern biotechnology in food production, it is important that each country of the region determines its policy in this field. Because of the trans-border effect of GMOs, it in essential that such policies are harmonized sub-regionally to ensure effectiveness.
3. Recommendations for establishing integrated, suitable and effective food safety management systems
The food safety management system as well as the food control needs of each country in Africa are unique. Accordingly, the countries of the region must develop strategies to respond to these needs in their own context, using best practice principles adopted by other regions.
The countries of the region must accurately identify their specific food safety capacity building needs so that they can prioritize where to focus their scarce resources. FAO and WHO have recently developed a Food Safety Capacity Needs Assessment tool for official food control systems to assist governments in this regard. Countries should seek to utilize this tool and adhere to the results of the assessment.
African countries often depend on development partners who are not always committed to the sustained strengthening of food safety management systems. As a result, the assistance provided may be donor driven and not based on actual needs. Such assistance is often not “owned” by the beneficiaries and accordingly, may not be sustainable. Donors and beneficiaries must work together to determine the needs to be addressed, as well as the means of addressing them.
The governments of the region must be more prepared to deploy adequate resources for establishing effective food safety management systems. However, governments must also have accurate, timely and relevant information in order to compel policy makers to prioritize improvements to food safety systems higher than other competing requests for scarce national resources. Policy makers require reliable data on the economic and health implications of food safety management systems and on the possible measures to be instituted to attain quality and safety in food supplies. Academia and research institutes, along with all other stakeholders within the country and within the region, must work together to ensure this accurate collection of data to assist policy makers in their decisions.
In addition to the points raised elsewhere in this document, governments should undertake the following actions in an effort to improve food safety management systems:
(A) Health and economic implications
In order for national food safety policy makers to better prioritize scarce resources, governments must generate the necessary information, including the following:
Approximation of the costs of ensuring quality and safety for the most important locally produced food;
Estimation of the economic loss to the nation as a result of rejection or down-grading of food exports on the international market;
Estimation of the cost of treatment of food-borne diseases caused by the consumption of unsafe/unwholesome food.
(B) Legal and institutional framework for FSMS
Develop national food safety policies from which relevant food legislation and enabling regulations can be derived;
Develop the necessary legislative and institutional framework for food control taking into account regional and international requirements as well as local conditions;
Seek to better coordinate the functions of agencies involved in food safety management to reduce overlap or gaps of activities, to better utilize scarce public resources.
(C) Inspection schemes
Pay due attention to the important role that food inspection services play in the national food control systems and take appropriate measures to improve the professional status of the food inspectors and to provide them with the necessary means to perform their duties adequately;
Assess the relevance, appropriateness and reliability of the inspection schemes and procedures used, as well as the training provided to the inspectors, all in relation to current international practices;
Ensure that food inspection services cover the entire national territory, and are managed in a manner that takes into account priorities in terms of risks to the consumer as well as available resources.
(D) Laboratory support services
Review the capabilities of all food testing laboratories, determine competence in specific fields as verified through accreditation, allocate responsibilities based on areas of competence and ensure that expensive equipment are used efficiently, including by clients outside the country (within the sub-region);
Promote the consolidation of laboratory facilities and services, for maximum efficiency and seek regional and international accreditation for the services provided;
Establish sub-regional networks of food testing laboratories and conduct proficiency testing programmes to upgrade the performance of these laboratories.
(E) Food standards
Establish a mechanism for developing and reviewing national food standards in relation to current international practices.
Determine the nature of the involvement of the food industry and other stakeholders in the development of national food standards and in their participation in the international food standard setting fora.
(F) Consumer education
Facilitate the establishment and sustainability of consumer associations to enable them assume a catalytic role in the food safety management systems.
(G) Information network
Channel all information on food safety issues through a focal point for circulation to concerned organizations for necessary action and feedback reports. The focal point should be in a position to better explain issues to the media which will, in turn, inform the general public accordingly.
(H) Stakeholder involvement
All stakeholders operating along the food chain should be encouraged and assisted in building their respective food safety capacity;
Stakeholders must adopt relevant practices in their food handling operations including Codex texts, and implement the forthcoming ISO 22 000 standard for food safety management;
Governments must assist the food industries by providing the enabling legislative environment, laboratory, inspection and other needed services;
All stakeholders must communicate and work together to improve food safety.
Every country has some type of a food safety management system at the national level. However, not all of these systems are effective and suitable for the purpose. Governments must establish the different components of the national food control system, determine the inter-relationships of these components and define and implement the responsibilities they have in ensuring the safety of food.
Every national FSMS must work towards the two major objectives of protecting the health of consumers and enhancing the competitiveness of local food products on both the internal and external markets.
National governmental FSMS can be effectively complemented by the food industry if all the stakeholders along the food chain build the necessary capacity for producing and handling food in a safe manner.
Safety conscious and dedicated stakeholders along national food chains will be in a position to promote consistent and safe food trade both domestically and internationally. This will increase domestic food security through the improved access to safe and wholesome food and the resultant rise in national incomes due to increased international food trade.
FAO Regional Office for Africa. Commissioned paper Status of food safety management systems in African countries with recommendations for the way forward, L.E.Yankey, FAO Consultant.
FAO/WHO Regional Conference on Food Safety for Asia and the Pacific, Seremban, Malaysia, 24–27 May 2004. Regional coordination in strengthening countries' participation and implementation of international food safety standards - CRD 9. National Bureau of Agricultural Commodity and Food Standards, Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives, Thailand.
FAO/WHO Global Forum of Food Safety Regulators, Marrakech, Morocco, 28–30 January 2002.
Food-borne Disease. Conference Room Document proposed by the World Health Organization, GF/CRD WHO-2.
Second FAO/WHO GlobalForum of Food Safety Regulators, Bangkok, Thailand, 12–14 October 2004.
Developing and maintaining food safety control systems for Africa, Current status and prospects for change. Prepared by WHO Regional Office for Africa; CRD 32.
Conference on International Food Trade Beyond 2000: Science-Based Decisions, Harmonization, Equivalence and Mutual Recognition, Melbourne, Australia, 11–15 October 1999. Assuring Food Quality and Safety: Back to the Basics - Quality Control Throughout the Food Chain, The Role of Consumers, Edward Groth III, PhD, Consumers Union of United States, Inc, USA; ALICOM 99/11.
Report of the session, Joint FAO/WHO Food Standards Programme, Codex Alimentarius Commission. Twenty-third Session, Rome, 28 June–3 July 1999.
WHO Awareness Raising Workshop on Food Safety Concerns in the African Region, 4–6 December 2002. Bamako, Mali.
|BSE||- Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy|
|EU||- European Union|
|FDB||- Food and Drugs Board|
|FSMS||- Food Safety Management System|
|GAP||- Good Agricultural Practices|
|GHP||- Good Hygienic Practices|
|GMP||- Good Manufacturing Practices|
|GSB||- Ghana Standards Board|
|GVP||- Good Veterinary Practices|
|HACCP||- Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points|
|ISO||- International Organization for Standardization|
|KEBS||- Kenya Bureau of Standards|
|MBS||- Malawi Bureau of Standards|
|MDA||- Ministries, Departments & Agencies|
|NCC||- National Codex Committee|
|NCCP||- National Codex Contact Point|
|NGOs||- Non-Governmental Organizations|
|NSI||- Namibia Standards Institutions|
|PHL||- Public Health Laboratory|
|PPRS||- Plant Protection and Regulatory Services|
|QA||- Quality Assurance|
|QMS||- Quality Management System|
|SABS||- South African Bureau of Standards|
|SLSB||- Sierra Leone Standards Bureau|
|TBS||- Tanzanian Bureau of Standards|
|UNBS||- Uganda National Bureau of Standards|
|ZBS||- Zambia Bureau of Standards|
TABLE 1 - BASIC FOOD LAWS AND ENABLING REGULATIONS AND THE MINISTRIES, DEPARTMENTS
AND AGENCIES INVOLVED
|S/N||Country||Legislation||Ministries, Departments and Agencies involved in enforcement and monitoring*|
|1||Algeria||Presidential Decree no 05–118 on iodisation food||Ministry of Commerce|
|Executive Decree no 04–320 of October 2004 on the transparency of the sanitary and phytosanitary measures and obstacles on trade||Ministry of Trade|
|Law on veterinary public health||Ministry of Agriculture|
|Law on Standardization||Ministry of Industry|
|2||Angola||Law No. 5/87 approving the Sanitary Regulation||Ministry of Health|
|3||Benin||Law 84–009. Basic Law governing the control of staple food||Ministry of Agriculture|
|Regulations on food imports and exports, Street food, food hygiene and labelling||Ministry of Health and Food, Applied Nutrition Directorate|
|4||Botswana||Food Control Act, 1993 (No. 11 of 1993)||Ministries of Agriculture, Health, Trade, Tourism|
|Disease and Pest Act||Food Control Unit|
|Permit licensing and Registration of Food Establishments||National Food Control Board|
|Botswana Agricultural Marketing Board Act, 1974 (No. 2 of 1974)||Ministry of Agriculture|
|Control of Goods Act, 1973 (No. 23 of 1973)|
|Livestock and Meat Industries Act ( No. 32 of 1962 )||Ministry of Agriculture - Permanent Secretary|
|Livestock and Meat Industries (Producers' Agents) Regulations ( No. 8 of 1968)||Ministry of Agriculture|
|5||Burkina Faso||Food Hygiene Law 23–94/ADP||Standardization & Quality Promotion Dir. & National Public Health Lab|
|Law no. 022–2005/AN regarding a Code on public Health||Ministry of Health|
|Decree no 2003–670 on the establishment of a general cooperation framework on food safety between the government/partnerships|
|Control of Pesticide Law 041–96||Ministries of Agriculture and Health|
|Standards Decree 98–296|
|6||Burundi||Decree-law No. 1/036 of December 1989 providing general rules on control quality||Ministry of Trade & Industry|
|Decree-law No. 1/16 of May 1982 regarding a code on public health||Ministry of Health|
|7||Cameroon||Law No. 64/LF/123 of November 1964 regarding the public health protection||Ministry of Health|
|Decree no. 011 /CAB/PM of March 2004 on the establishment of an ad hoc committee on food safety|
|8||Cape Verde||Decree-Law No. 100/92 of 17 August 1992 regulating the export of bananas|
|Government Decree no. 1/2005 on infant food public information campaigns, labelling requirements and the related information|
|Government Resolution No. 6/2004 on the National Food Security Sustainable Strategy|
|Decree no. 1/2005 on infant food public information campaigns, labelling requirements and the related information.|
|Decree-Law No. 89/92 providing general rules for the quality control of nationally produced, imported or exported food|
|Decree-Law No. 32/2003 ruling on rice used for human consumption|
|Order No. 6/2001 approving the Regulation of sanitary measures to be applied on fish products|
|Resolution No. 72/98 creating the National Agency for Food Safety - ANSA|
|Decree-Law No. 12/2004 ruling on production, import, export, commercialisation and use of iodated salt|
|Order No. 10/2001 prohibiting bovine importation from areas infected by BSE disease|
|9||Cent. African Republic||Decree 95030,1995 on Salt Iodization|
Decree 040–1984 on import and exports
|Ministries of Agriculture, Health and Trade and National Animal Husbandry|
|10||Chad||Decree 94/499 ruling on production, import, export, commercialisation and use of iodated salt in the Chad Republic|
|Law no 95-3 1995-02-18/PR on the restructuring of the national office on cereals|
|11||Comoros||Decree no 82–001/PR on the establishment of a national bureau import and trade of rice||Ministry of Trade|
|12||Congo, Rep||Decree no 86–121 on the commercialisation of dry and salty fish|
|13||Congo, DR||Decree no.364 of September 2000 establishing the list of the authorized additives in the fishery sector|
|14||Cote d'Ivoire||Decree No. 86–454 establishing the power of the government to the municipalities and to the city of Abidjan on veterinary public hygiene measures||Ministries of Finance, Rural Development|
|15||Djibouti||Decree no2002–0226/PR/MERN on the regulation of the production, commercialisation and use of the salt of lac Assal.|
|Decree no2001–0010/PR/MCIA on the regulation of the water for human consumption||Ministry of Health|
|Decree no97–0189/PR/MS - ruling on production, import, export, commercialisation and use of iodated salt||Ministry of Health and Ministry of Trade|
|Decree no2004–0130/PR/MCIA ruling on production and commercialisation of «bred of the people».||Ministry of Trade|
|16||Egypt||Over 45 Ministerial Resolutions of MDAs concerning the obligation to a wide range of food items according to the Egyptian Standardization and Metrology|
|18||Eritrea||Fisheries Product Regulations (L.N. No. 40, 41, 105/1998)|
|Fishery Products Additives/Import and Export Regulations (L.N. No. 65/69 of 2003)|
|Heavy Metals Regulations (L.N. No. 66 of 2003)|
|Potable Water Regulations (L.N. No. 68/2003)|
|Regulations regarding Import Permits and Declared Goods (L.N. No. 78 of 2003)|
|Fishery Products Importation and Exportation Regulations (L.N. No. 69 of 2003)|
|19||Ethiopia||Quality & Standards Authority of Ethiopia Establishment Proclamation (No. 102/1998)|
|Emergency Food Security Reserve Administration Establishment Council of Ministers Regulations (No. 67/2000)||Emergency food security reserve administration|
|20||Gabon||Decree 00766,1963 on Public Health||Ministries of Trade, Agric and Health|
|Decree 01574 on import and exports||Dir. of Competition & Fraud Control|
|Decree no 834/PR/MAEDR establishing a national Codex Alimentarius Committee||Ministry of Agriculture|
|21||Gambia||Public Health Act, 1989 (Act No. 1 of 1989)||National Nutrition Agency (NaNA)|
|Public Health and Fisheries Acts||Dept of State for Agriculture, Health & Trade|
|Regulations on Imports/Exports, Food Establishment, Food Labelling & Certification of Fish Processing Plants||National Nutrition Agency (NaNA)|
|22||Ghana||Food and Drugs Law (P.N.D.C.L. 305B, 1992)||Food and Drugs Board|
|Standards Decree (N.R.C.D. 173, 1973)||Ghana Standards Board|
|General Labelling Rules, 1992 (L.I. No. 1541, 1992)||Food and Drugs Board|
|Ghana Standards Board Certification Mark Rule, LI 662,1970||Ghana Standards Board|
|Pest and Plant Disease Act 307, 1965 (L.I. No. 1541, 1992)||Plant Protection and Regulatory Services|
|Pesticides Act 528, 1997.||Ministries of Health, Food & Agriculture & Trade|
|23||Guinea||Decree D/2003/4/PRG/SGG on the establishment of a national commission on food safety and quality (CNSSA)||CNNSSA|
|24||Guinea Bissau||Decree No. 62-E/92 establishing sanitary food protection|
|25||Kenya||Use of Poisonous Substances Act||Ministries of Health, Agriculture, Trade & Industry|
|Fertilizer and Animal Foodstuffs (Importation and Use of Meat Animal Bone Meal) (Prohibition) Regulations 2001 (L.N. No. 19 of 2001).||Dept. of Veterinary Services|
|Meat Control (Importation of Meat and Meat Products) Regulations, 2001 (L.N. No. 28 of 2001)||Fish Quality and Safety Unit|
|Sugar (Imports, Exports and By-products) Regulations, 2003 (L.N. No. 39 of 2003)||Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Service|
|Tea (Packing) Regulations, 1999 (L.N. No. 41 of 1999)||Customs and Excise Dept., KEBS|
|Food, Drugs and Chemical Substances Act Cap 254||Ministry of Health|
|Public Health Act Cap 242||Ministry of Health|
|Standards Act Cap 496||Ministry of Trade and Industry|
|Meat Control Act Cap 356||Ministry of Health|
|Import Inspection Directive||Customs and Excise Dept., KEBS|
|Radiation Protection Act Cap243||Ministries of Health, Department of Public Health|
|Liquor Licensing Act Cap 121||Ministries of Health, Department of Public Health|
|Meat Control Act 356||Ministries of Health, Livestock, development and fisheries, Department of Public Health|
|Pharmacy and Poisons Act Cap 244||Ministries of Health, Pharmacy and poisons Board|
|Animal Health Act Cap 364||Livestock, development and fisheries, Department of Veterinary Services|
|Fertilizer and Animal Feedstuff Act Cap 345||Livestock, development and fisheries, Department of Veterinary Services|
|Dairy Act Cap 336||Livestock, development and fisheries, Agric., Department of Veterinary Services|
|Fisheries Act Cap 378||Livestock, development and fisheries, Agric., Department of Fisheries|
|Pest Control Products Act Cap 346||Ministry of Agriculture, Pest Control and Products Board|
|Seed Act Cap 326||Ministry of Agriculture, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services|
|Noxious Seed Act Cap 325||Ministry of Agriculture, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services|
|Plant Protection Act Cap 324||Ministry of Agriculture, Kenya Plant Health Inspectorate Services|
|Legal notice under Cap 318||Ministry of Agriculture, Horticultural Crops Development Authority|
|Science and Technology Act Cap 256||Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, National Council for Science and Technology|
|Agric. produce Act Cap 319||Ministry of Agric.,|
|26||Lesotho||Public Health Order 12, 1970||Ministry of Health and Social Welfare|
|Agricultural Marketing (Import of Sugar) Regulations (L. N. No. 176 of 1989).||Minister of Agriculture|
|Marketing Registration 23, 1971||Ministry of Industry, Trade & Marketing|
|Food Establishment Act 13,1997||Ministry of Agriculture|
|Milk Hygiene Regulation 28, 2000||Dept. of Chem. - University of Lesotho|
|Street Food Legal Notice 13, 1971||Dept. of Chem. - University of Lesotho|
|28||Libya||Health Law No. 106||Ministry of Health|
|Standards Law No. 5|
|29||Madagascar||Food Law, 1st August 1905|
|Ordinance 73–054 and 73–055|
|Ordinance 88–015, 1st September 1988 (Facilitate food product import and export)||Ministry of Trade & Industry|
|30||Malawi||Meat and Meat Products Act||Depts of Fisheries, Animal Health & Industry|
|Malawi Dairy Industries Corporation (Establishment) Order, 1987.|
|Milk and Milk Products Act||Veterinary Labs, MBS|
|Public Health Act||Ministry of Health and Population|
|Meat Inspection Regulations||Ministry of Commerce and Industry|
|Meat Marketing Regulations||Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation|
|Pig Grading Regulations|
Public Health (Condensed Milk) Rules
|National Quality Control Lab|
Veterinary Labs, MBS
|31||Mali||Decree no 01–175/pm-rm on capacity building against poverty||Ministry of Agriculture, Ministries of Heath, Trade|
|Decree no 00–183/p-rm on the ruling of the public services of the water for consumers||Ministry of Public Health|
|32||Mauritania||Food Regulations made under the Food Act 1998||Ministries of Health and Trade|
|Decree no R-0017 on the definition of the elaborate product of fishing||Ministry of Fisheries|
|Sale of Frozen Foods Regulations 1985 (G.N. No. 113 of 1985)||Food Hygiene Lab and Cen. for Animal Husbandry & Vet. Research|
|33||Mauritius||Environment protection (Polyethylene Terephthalate) (PET) bottle Permit) Regulations 2001 (G.N. No. 33 of 2001).|
|Food Act 1998 (Act No. 1 of 1998)||Ministry of Health & Quality of Life|
|Food and Drugs Act 25 May 1940||Ministry of Health & Quality of Life|
|Meat Act 3/665 November 1974||Mauritius Meat Authority|
|Food Regulations made under the Food Act 1998||Ministry of Health & Quality of Life|
|34||Morocco||Decree no 1041–03 ruling the wheat vending conditions for the production, commercialization of flour||Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation and Fisheries|
|Decree no 738–96 ruling animal health (importation)||Ministry of Agricultural Development|
|Dahir no 1-02-119 promulgating law no 49–99 run the sanitary protection measures on animal production and the commercialization of poultry products|
|Decree no 1409–01 ruling precaution us measures in case of tuberculosis||Ministry of Agriculture, Water & Rural Dev, Forestry|
|35||Mozambique||Order No. 56/2001 approving the Customs regime applicable to sugar import.||Ministries of Development, Agriculture, Trade & Industry|
|Decree No. 72/98, implementing the water supply policy||Ministries Of Fisheries, Trade and Agriculture|
|Public Health Act 11, Fisheries Law 3, 1990||National Inst. of Standards and Quality|
|Standards Decree 2, 1993||National Food Lab|
|Ministerial Order No. 120/87 approving quality standards for wheat, corn and their flours||Ministry of Trade|
|Ministerial Order No. 51/84 approving hygiene regulations for food handling establishments||Ministry of Health|
|Ministerial Order No. 80/87 approving the hygiene Regulation on food imports||Ministry of Health|
|Order No. 184/75 establishing copra oil as edible oil and defining its characteristics|
|Order No. 23.964 defining sunflower seed oil as an edible oil and establishing quality standards|
|36||Namibia||Public Health Act No. 36 of 1919||Ministry of Health|
|Standards Act No. 33 of 1962, Export/Registration of Foodstuffs||Ministry of Agriculture, Water & Rural Development|
|Cosmetics and Disinfectants Order No. 18 of 1979||University of Namibia (Dept of FS & Tech) SABS|
|General Registration GN 121 of 1969||Customs & Excise|
|Prevention of Undesirable Residue in Meat Amendment Act, 1994 (Act No. 11 of 1994)||Prime Minister|
|Meat Act, 1991 (G.N. No. 220 of 1994)||Meat Board of Namibian Agronomic Board|
|Amendment of Regulations relating to the standards of food, drugs and disinfectants (No. 124 of 1994).||Ministry of Health & Social Services|
|Regulations Relating to Grading and Classification of Maize (No. 71 of 1994)||Ministry of Agriculture, Water, Rural Development|
|Standards of Composition of Maize Products: Agronomy Industry Act, 1992 (No. 72 of 1994)||Ministry of Agriculture|
|37||Niger||Decree 98–108, 1998 on Food Imports/exports||Ministry of Agricultural Development|
|Decree no 76/MDR/CABon the promotion and organization of agricultural exportation projects implemented by decree no 77/MDR/CAB and decree no 78/MDR/CAB||Ministry of Rural Development|
|Order no 35/MDR/CAB,2001 on the establishment of a Committee on food safety implements decree no 2000–147 ruling the rural development ministry assignments|
|Order no 09/CAB/PM/2001 establishing a committee for food safety policies|
|Laws on fraud control 1905||Ministry of Public Health|
|Gen Order 131, 1941 on the preparation of meat||Ministry of Trade & Industry|
|Order 3278, 1942 on imports/exportation of animals, Meat and other animal products||National Public Health Lab|
|38||Nigeria||Counterfeit and Fake Drugs and Unwholesome Processed Food Decree, (Act No. 25 of 1999)||Federal Ministry of Health|
|National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (Amendment) Decree 1999 (No. 19 of 1999)||Food and Drug Agency|
|Food and Drugs (Amendment) Decree 1999 (No. 21 of 1999)||Food & Drug Administration & Control (NAFDAC)|
|National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control Decree 1993 (No. 15 of 1993)||Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON)|
|Public Health Ordinance Cap 164 of 1958||National Codex Committee|
|The Standards Organisation of Nigeria Decree, No. 56 of 1971||Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON)|
|The Animal Disease Control Decree, No. 10 of 1988||Federal Ministry of Agriculture|
|The Marketing of Breast Milk substitute Decree, No. 41 of 1990|
|39||Rwanda||Order no. 74/453 of December 1952 ruling the sanitary procedure on food amended by order 74/416 of December 1953|
|Order no 41–38 of March 1956 ruling the commercialization of Wheat|
|40||Senegal||Decree no 99–259 on horticultural products quality and control||Ministry of Agriculture|
|Decree no 98–554 on the establishment of a national food safety Counsel||Ministry of Agriculture|
|41||Seychelles||Food Act 1987 (Act No. 14 of 1987)|
|42||Sierra Leone||Public Health Act 23, 1960||Ministry of Health & Sanitation|
|Fisheries Management Act, 1994||Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry & Marine Resources|
|Standards Act 12, 1996, Registration on Food Establishment, Street Foods, Export & Imports||Sierra Leone Standards Bureau (SLSB)|
|43||Somalia||Livestock Development Agency Law (No. 34 of 1970)||Secretary of State for Rural Development and Livestock|
|44||South Africa||Regulations relating to labelling of alcoholic beverages (No. 109 of 2005)||Ministry of Health|
|Regulations governing general hygiene requirements for food premises and the transport of food of 12 July 2002||Ministry of Health|
|Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of South Africa on trade in spirits - November 2002|
|Meat Safety Act, 2000||Dept. of Health & SABS|
|Foodstuffs, cosmetics & Disinfectant, Act No. 54 of 1972||Dept. of Agriculture|
|Health Act No. 63 of 1977||Ministry of Health|
|Standards Act No. 29 of 1993||SABS|
|Food, Drugs & Disinfectant Act No. 13 of 1929||Dept. of Trade & Industry|
|Trade Metrology Act No. 77 of 1973||Dept. of Trade & Industry|
|Regulations on Food Establish & Export/Import||Customs & Excise Division|
|The International Health Regulations Act, 1974 (Act 28 of 1974)||Ministry of Health|
|The Medicines and Related Substances Act, 1965 (Act 101 of 1965)||Ministry of Health|
|Wine and Spirits Control Act|
|Regulations governing general hygiene requirements for food premises and the transport of food (G. N. No. R.918 of 1999)|
|45||Sudan||Environmental Health Act 1975||Ministry of Health - health authorities|
|46||Swaziland||Public Health Act No. 5 of 1969||Ministry of Health & Social Services (MOHSS)|
|Slaughter House Act. No. 10, 1964||Vet. Services Laboratory & Swaziland Meat Industries|
|Sale of Adulterated Food Act No. 25, 1968||University of Swaziland (Lect. of Health Sev.)|
|Food Hygiene Regulation 1973||Ministry of Enterprises & Employment|
|Bakery Regulation, 1974||Ministry of Enterprises & Employment|
|47||Tanzania||Coffee Industry Act, 2001 (Act No. 23 of 2001)||Ministry Agric & Food Security|
|Food (Control of Quality) Act, 1978 (Act No. 10 of 1978)||Government Chemist Lab, Agency|
|Sugar Industry Act, 2001 (Act No. 26 of 2001)||Ministry of Industry & Trade|
|Produce Export Ordinance|
|Adulteration of Produce Decree (Cap. 109)||National Food Control Commission|
|Cashew Nut (Marketing) Regulations, 1996 (G.N. No. 369 of 1996)||Ministry of Health|
|Fish (Quality Control and Standards) Regulations, 2000 (L.N. No. 300 of 2000)||Ministry of Agriculture & Food Security|
|Tea Regulations (S.I. No. 92 of 1999)||Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS)|
|Plant Protection Act 13, 1975||Ministry of Natural Resources & Tourism|
|Public Health Act||Ministry of Health|
|Fisheries Act 6, 1970||Ministry of Fisheries|
|Standard Act 3, 1975|
|48||Togo||Law no 57–16 on the commercialization of local fishing||Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Finance|
|49||Tunisia||Law no. 117 concerning consumer protection, 1994|
|Decree no 2005–388 amending decree no 2000–2574 on the establishment of “Codex Alimentarius” Committee, its ruling, organization and composition.||Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Finance Ministries of Health, Development|
|Order on public health of March, 30, 2004, ruling the mother's milk substitutes list implements law no 83 – 24||Ministry of Public Health|
|Decree no 2003–1718 related to food packaging||Ministry of Commerce and Industry|
|Law no 92–117 on consumer protection|
|50||Uganda||Public Health Act, 1964||Ministry of Health, Tourism, Trade & Industry|
|Plant Protection Act 1962||Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry & Fisheries|
|Fish Quality Assurance Rule||Uganda National Bureau of Standards|
|Import/Inspection of Clearance Rules, 2002||Uganda Revenue Authority (Chemist)|
|Standard Act, 1983, Registration on Food Establishment||Ministry of Agriculture|
|52||Zambia||Dairies and Dairy Produce Act (Chapter 342)||Ministry of Agriculture & Cooperation|
|Food Reserve (Designated Commodities) Standard of Conduct) (Amendment) Regulations (S.I. No. 41 of 2004) amending Regulations S.I. No. 94 of 1996||Ministry of Agriculture|
|Dairy Produce Board (Establishment) Act (Cap. 350)||Central Board of Health|
|Dairies and Dairy Produce Regulations (Chapter 342)||Central Vet. Research Institute|
|Grain Marketing (Acceptance Standards) Regulations. (S.I. No. 296 of 1969)||Customs & Excise Division|
|Food & Drugs Acts, Cap 303||Food & Drugs Laboratory|
|Food/Drug Registration SI 90/2001||Ministries of Health, Commerce, Trade & Industry|
|Public Health Act, Cap 295||ZBS National Food & Nut Commission|
|Plant Pesticides Act Cap 252|
|Standard Act Cap 416, Registration on Exports/Imports and Food Establishments|
|53||Zimbabwe||Dairy Act||Ministry of Agriculture|
|Food and Food Standards Act||Minister of Health and Child Welfare|
|Fruit Marketing Act (No. 55 of 1966)||Ministry of Agriculture|
|Public Health Act (Chapter 15:09)||Minister of Health and Child Welfare Advisory Board for Public Health|
|Animal Health (Import) Regulations (S.I. No. 57 of 1989)||Ministry of Agriculture|
|Produce Export Act||Ministry of Agriculture|
|Source of Information/Data||FAOLEX, ECOLEX||FAO Background paper for Global Forum by L. E. Yankey, FAO Consultant, Nov. 2004 Revised by E. Bonanno, FAO Consultant, Sept. 2005|
|N/A - Not Available|
*MDAs not in any particular or specific order in relation to the enforcement of food laws for each country. Mandates and functions overlap.
1 Fact Sheet No. 109: Childhood Diseases in Africa. WHO. 1996.
2 An in-depth discussion of issues related to the safety of foods from the informal distribution sector in Africa, including street foods is available as CAF 05/4.
3 FAO/WHO. 2003. Assuring Food Safety and Quality: Guidelines for Strengthening National Food Control Systems. FAO Food and Nutrition Paper 76.