Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) has banned the importation and selling of Mozambican produced Frozy drinks for failing to meet required Malawi Standards.
Frozy banned on Malawi market
The bureau said the drink has failed to conform to standards as stipulated by the institution under the import quality monitoring scheme.
MBS warned the public from consuming the banned product.
“The MBS would like to inform the general public that through its conformance assessments conducted under the Import Quality Monitoring Scheme (IQMS) on imported products, it has objectively established that Frozy soft drinks are failing to conform with requirements of relevant Malawi Standards, MS 18-Carbonated soft drinks specification and MS 19-Labeling standard for prepackaged foods,” said the statement signed by Chief Executive Officer Davlin Chokazinga.
The statement said conformance assessment results on Frozy soft drinks have given high levels of citric acid, in the range of 2240 to 5376 mg/kg (against 3000mg/kg max. specification) and sodium benzoates, in the range of 3248 to 4256 mg/kg (against 1000mg/kg max. specification).
Apart from failing conformance tests the ban has been effected because the products have some information provided in Portuguese language contrary to MS 19 labeling requirements.
“Following failure of Frozy soft drinks to conform with the applicable specifications and in accordance with the Imports Regulations of the MBS Act (Cap 51:02), the MBS is hereby advising importers, distributors, sellers and the general public that this product is substandard and that its importation distribution, sell and use is prohibited until further notice.”
In accordance with section 39 of the MBS Act (Cap 51:02), has cautioned importers, distributors or sellers of the product, are requested to openly declare to the MBS quantities of Frozy drinks currently in their custody and agree on appropriate handling and disposal procedures with immediate effect.
The MBS is also advising the general public that it will conduct sweeping exercises through its market surveillance activities in due course to ensure that the product is removed from the market.
“Anyone found stocking, distributing or selling the product after this notice shall be penalized and prosecuted in accordance with section 44 of the MBS Act (Cap 51:02). The general public is therefore advised to desist from buying and consuming this product forthwith until the MBS verifies through further conformance assessments the redressal of the shortfalls highlighted above,” Chokazinga said.
The ban comes amid Malawi’s biggest producer of fizzy drinks Southern Bottlers raising accusations over the proliferation of the drink being smuggled into the country.
The drink is popular in the country because it is being sold as cheaper as K200 to K300 than Southern Bottlers franchise products of Coca-cola, Fanta, Sprite going at K280 K500.
Meanwhile the Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA) has welcomed the move, saying the ban will ensure consumers are protected from such uncertified products.
“This is welcome development especially at the time when the market being flooded with uncertified products. We hope this will mark a beginning of new era where the bureau is strict in enforcing standards and ensure such products that don’t meet the required standards are off the market,” CAMA Projects Officer Maurice Nkawihe told Nyasa Times.