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Chapter 15:04

Food And Food Standards Act

Acts 25/1971, 39/1973 (s. 52), 61/1973 (s. 8), 42/1976 (s. 35), 32/1979 (s.12), 29/1981, 8/1988, 22/1994, 22/2001 (s. 4)

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

PART I

PRELIMINARY

Section

  1. Short title.
  2. Application of Act.

PART II

ADULTERATED AND FALSELY DESCRIBED FOOD

  1. Adulteration or false description of food.
  2. Control of sale, importation and manufacture of food.
  3. Control of mixed or compounded foods.
  4. Control of blended foods.

PART III

ADMINISTRATION

  1. Inspection, seizure and disposal of food.
  2. Withdrawal of notice or return of food.
  3. Taking of samples and analysis of food.
  4. Food found not to be prohibited from sale or manufacture for sale.
  5. Proceedings for disposal of food.
  6. Cancellation of notice or release of food if undertaking furnished.
  7. Detention of food at port of entry.
  8. Power of Minister to obtain particulars of food.

PART IV

LEGAL PROCEEDINGS

  1. Procedure and presumptions.
  2. Act or omission by manager, agent or employee.

PART V

FOOD STANDARDSADVISORY BOARD 18. Establishment of Food Standards Advisory Board.

PART VI

GENERAL

  1. Appointment of analysts.
  2. Appointment of inspectors.
  3. Delegation of powers of appointment to local authority.
  4. Inspector to produce letter of appointment.
  5. Payment for sample taken and compensation for deteriorated food.
  6. Obstruction of inspector.
  7. Destruction of food upon conviction of an offence.
  8. Preservation of secrecy.

AN ACT to provide for the sale, importation and manufacture for sale of food in a pure state; to prohibit the sale, importation and manufacture for sale of food which is falsely described; and to provide for the fixing of standards relating to food and matters incidental thereto.

[Date of commencement: 28th May, 1971.]

PART I

PRELIMINARY

1    Short title

This Act may be cited as the Food and Food Standards Act [Chapter 15:04].

                       2    Application of Act

This Act shall not apply to a drug which is a specified drug in terms of the Drugs and Allied Substances Control Act [Chapter 15:03].

                       3    Interpretation

(1) In this Act—

“analyst” means a person appointed as an analyst in terms of section nineteen or by a local authority to which the power of appointment has been delegated in terms of section twenty-one;

“appliance” means the whole or any part of any utensil, machinery, instrument, apparatus or article used in the manufacture, preservation or packaging of any food;

“area under the jurisdiction of a local authority” means—

  • in the case of a municipal or town council, the municipal or town council concerned;
  • in the case of a rural district council, the area of the rural district council or such greater or lesser area as may be declared in terms of subsection (2) to be the area under the jurisdiction of the council for the purposes of this Act;
  • in the case of a local board, the local government for which the board has been appointed; and includes a local government area administered and controlled by a local authority referred to in paragraph (a) or (b);

“Board” means the Food Standards Advisory Board appointed in terms of section eighteen;

“description” means any label. brand, mark, advertisement, verbal or written statement, representation or pictorial or other descriptive matter referring to any food or any substance or ingredient thereof;

“detained”, in relation to any food, means detained in terms of subparagraph (iii) of paragraph (f) of subsection (1) of section eight;

“food” means any substance which is, in whole or in part, intended for human consumption or which is intended for entry into, or to be used in the manufacture of, any such substance;

“inspector” means—

  • a person appointed as an inspector by the Minister in terms of subsection (1) of section twenty;
  • a person appointed as an inspector by a local authority to which the power of appointment has been delegated in terms of subsection (1) of section twenty-one;

and includes a person exercising the powers of an inspector conferred upon him in terms of subsection (3) of sectiontwenty;

“label” means—

  • when used as a verb, to brand, mark or otherwise designate or describe any article;
  • when used as a noun, any brand, mark, written or pictorial or other descriptive matter appearing on or attached to or packed with and referring to any food or its package;

“local authority” means a municipal council, town council, local board or rural district council;

“manufacture” includes prepare, compose, process or treat;

“medical officer of health”, in relation to a local authority, means the medical officer of health appointed by or designated for the area of that local authority in terms of section 7 or 9, as the case may be, of the Public Health Act [Chapter 15:09];

“Minister” means the Minister of Health and Child Welfare or any other Minister to whom the President may, from time to time, assign the administration of this Act;

“Ministry” means the Ministry for which the Minister is responsible;

“notice”, in relation to any food, means a notice issued in terms of subparagraph (ii) of paragraph (f) of subsection (1) of section eight;

[Definition as amended by section 4 of Act No. 22 of 2001]

“package” means anything in or by which food is covered, enclosed, contained or packed;

“prohibited” means prohibited in terms of this Act or regulations made under section twenty-seven;

“sealed package” means an unbroken or unopened package which cannot be opened without damaging the container, seal, capsule, adhesive label or wrapping, or which otherwise cannot be opened and closed again so as to be left intact;

“Secretary” means the Secretary of the Ministry;

“sell” means sell by wholesale or retail, and includes—

(a)   offer, advertise, keep, possess, expose, transmit, consign, convey or deliver for sale; (b)         authorize, direct or allow a sale;

(c)   barter, exchange, supply or dispose of for any consideration, direct or indirect.

(2) With the approval of the Minister to whom the administration of the Rural District Councils Act [Chapter 29:13] has been assigned, the Minister may by statutory instrument declare that for the purposes of this Act the area under the jurisdiction of a rural district council shall be a greater or lesser area than the area for which the council was constituted in terms of the said Act.

PART II

ADULTERATED AND FALSELY DESCRIBED FOOD

                       4    Adulteration or false description of food

  • Subject to subsection (2) food shall, for the purposes of this Act, be deemed to be—
    • adulterated if—
      • it contains, or is mixed or diluted with, any substance or ingredient not present when the food is in a pure or normal state and in a sound condition; or
      • it has been subjected to any process or treatment which injuriously affects its nature, substance or quality or any of its other properties; or
      • any substance or ingredient has been extracted, removed or omitted therefrom, thereby diminishing or altering its food value or nutritive or any of its other properties as compared with the food in a pure or normal state and in sound condition; or
      • it is coloured, stained, powdered, polished, coated, steamed or treated so that its nature, condition or quality is concealed or attempted to be concealed; or
      • it fails to comply with any prescribed standards; or
      • it contains or there has been added to or mixed or diluted with it any substance or ingredient in a proportion greater than that which is prescribed or any prohibited substance or ingredient; or
      • any prescribed method, appliance or process has not been used or applied to it or any of its substances or ingredients in the manufacture, preservation or packaging thereof or any prohibited method, appliance or process has been so used or applied to it or any of its substances or ingredients;
    • falsely described if—
      • it is an imitation of and is sold under the name of any other food or by a name so closely resembling that of another food as to be likely to deceive; or
      • it or its package bears any description which is incorrect or misleading in regard to its nature, substance, quality or composition or its nutritive or any other property, or its origin, age or mode of or place of production, preparation or manufacture; or
      • it is implied by wording, picture or any other device in or on the food or its package that the food contains a particular ingredient or substance when the resemblance to such an ingredient or substance is obtained only or mainly by artificial means; or
      • it is sold in substitution for another food and the purchaser is not informed prior to or on delivery of the substitution; or
      • it or its package is not labelled in such manner and with such particulars as may be prescribed.
    • Subject to this Act, food shall not be deemed to be adulterated or falsely described, as the case may be—

(a) in terms of subparagraph (i) of paragraph (a) of subsection (1) if the food or its package bears a label in the prescribed form containing such particulars as may be prescribed; (b) solely by reason of—

  • the presence therein or therewith of a substance or ingredient not unwholesome or unfit for human consumption which is necessary for the production, preparation or manufacture of the food as an article of commerce, in a fit state for carriage, consumption or use, and is not calculated to deceive the purchaser by increasing its mass, measure or volume or concealing its quality; or
  • the subjection thereof to any process or treatment if such process or treatment is necessary for the production, preparation or manufacture of the food as an article of commerce in a fit state for carriage or use and the food is not unwholesome or unfit for human consumption; or
  • the presence therein or therewith of extraneous matter of a harmless nature in negligible quantity or in quantity not exceeding that which may be prescribed, unavoidably mixed with the food in the process of collection, preparation or manufacture thereof; or
  • the removal therefrom of a substance or ingredient if such removal is necessary for the production, preparation or manufacture of the food as an article of commerce in a fit state for carriage or use and the food is not unwholesome or unfit for human consumption; or
  • the presence on the food or its package of a geographical name or a descriptive term which by long usage has come to be a generic term used to describe a particular type, variety or brand of

food, or a trade mark registered in terms of the Trade Marks Act [Chapter 26:04] before the 28th May, 1971.

                       5     Control of sale, importation and manufacture of food

(1) No person shall— (a) sell; or

  • import for sale; or
  • manufacture for sale; any food which is adulterated, falsely described or unwholesome or unfit for human consumption.

(2) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level seven or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

[Subsection as inserted by section 4 of Act No. 22 of 2001]

                       6     Control of mixed or compounded foods

  • No person shall mix any substance or ingredient with any food intended for sale with intent to deceive the purchaser thereof by increasing the mass, measure or volume, altering the flavour or concealing the quality of the food.
  • Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level seven or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

[Subsection as inserted by section 4 of Act No. 22 of 2001]

                       7    Control of blended foods

  • Subject to subsection (2), no person shall sell any food or label any food intended for sale as a blend or as blended unless it consists solely of different kinds, qualities or grades of the food named.
  • Subsection (1) shall not apply to such food or classes of foods as may be prescribed.
  • Any person who contravenes subsection (1) shall be guilty of an offence and liable to a fine not exceeding level seven or to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or to both such fine and such imprisonment.

[Subsection as inserted by section 4 of Act No. 22 of 2001]

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