During the festive season, families come together to share a good time. And of course, food is the main component of that. People consume organic food such as fruits and vegetables but they also buy and consume processed food such as soda, cake and others.
To protect consumers, Law No47/2012 of 14/01/2013 relating to the Regulation and Inspection of Food and Pharmaceutical Products was adopted by the Government of Rwanda.
Article 3 of the Law Relating to the Regulation and Inspection of Food and Pharmaceutical Products requires all activities relating to manufacture, storing, import, export, sale, packaging, distribution, and supply of food and pharmaceutical products to be registered.
Additionally, those who carry out activities mentioned in article 3 have to obtain the license to operate. This is according to article 4 of the Law relating to the Regulation and Inspection of Food and Pharmaceutical Products.
The standard of food products is determined by article 5 of the Law Relating to the Regulation and Inspection of Food and Pharmaceutical Products. Article 5 prohibits food products which contain toxic substances. The products must be safe for human or animal consumption. They should not be rotten, spoiled, expired or contaminated.
Article 5 further prohibits food products which contain additives that are likely to cause a disease and those which are associated with effects on human health. Counterfeit food products and those that have been derived from diseased or infected animals are also prohibited. Food products must be stored, manufactured in a place that meets hygiene standards.
When food products are intended for sale, they must be manufactured, prepared, stored, packaged or kept in compliance with hygiene standards. This is according to article 6 of the Law Relating to the Regulation and Inspection of Food and Pharmaceutical Products. The storage of such foods should ensure that they retain their original properties and ensure that they do not lose their nutrients during storage.
Article 7 of the Law relating to the Regulation and Inspection of Food and Pharmaceutical Products prohibits the sale of donated food products while article 9 forbids manufacture, storage, and supply, selling, or possessing food products for commercial purposes that do not meet the required standards.
Articles 10 and 11 of the Law relating to the Regulation and Inspection of Food and Pharmaceutical Products put measures to protect food product consumers.
Article 10 says that if food products are found to have had harmful effects on consumers’ health, competent organs shall carry out an investigation and taken action in accordance with national laws.
Article 11 outlaws fraudulent practices in the sale of food products stating: “No person shall register, publicise, pack, prepare, sell or advertise any food product in a manner that is fraudulent, misleading, and deceptive or is likely to create an erroneous impression as to its character, quantity, value, merit, composition or safety.”