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Food chemicals store shut down over expired items

By Vision Reporter

Added 16th April 2009 03:00 AM

THE Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has closed Desbro Uganda Limited, a store that sells food preservatives and industrial chemicals.

THE Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has closed Desbro Uganda Limited, a store that sells food preservatives and industrial chemicals.

By Patrick Jaramogi

THE Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has closed Desbro Uganda Limited, a store that sells food preservatives and industrial chemicals.

The exercise, which followed an order from the tourism, trade and industry minister, Maj. Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, was conducted by a team of officials led by the bureau’s executive director, Dr. Terry Kahuma, on Wednesday.

“The minister rang me last night and ordered that the place be closed. The exercise is meant to pave way for a comprehensive forensic audit,” said Kahuma.

A consignment of expired assorted chemicals worth sh800m were discovered in three stores at Plot 60-54 on Sixth Street in Industrial Area, Kampala.

Kahuma described them as “a hazard to human life”.

The items, some catalogued in drums, boxes and tins, were sorted by the experts and stored in separate stores.

“I have discovered serious anomalies,” said Kahuma. “Most of the chemical labels were tampered with. The items lack manufacturing and expiry dates.” He said experts from various government departments would be asked to verify the items.

Kahuma ordered Desbro’s to stop repacking and selling all their products until a thorough inspection was conducted.

Desbro marketing chief S.K Kumar, however, said the expired items were due for destruction.

“Just like a supermarkets, we can also have expired goods,” he said.

UNBS quality assurance manager Deus Mubangizi said despite a worldwide ban on the use of Sodium Saccharine for food industries, Desbro had 50 drums, which they were selling to food manufacturers.
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Food chemicals store shut down over expired items

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