The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) has issued new labelling guidelines for bottled and sachet water producers and manufacturers in the country.
The new directive which is in line with the Public Health Act of 2012 (Act 851), is to address the inconsistencies in the labelling information on the primary and secondary packaging of bottled and sachet water.
Under the new rules, labels of pre-packaged food shall not be presented in a manner that is false, misleading or deceptive or is likely to create an erroneous impression regarding its character in any respect.
Mandatory requirements information for food labelling are the brand name of the product, list of ingredients, net quantity of contents, best before date, batch number, name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer or distributor, Country of origin, nutrition labelling and allergen labelling.
“A directive in this area is needed in order to have a healthy policy environment to ensure that the enforcer, non-retail producer and manufacturer, and consumers benefit from clear complete labelling to obtain important information on products purchased at the point of sale,” FDA Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Delese A. A. Darko at a stakeholder meeting Monday.
Mrs Darko, pointed out that, the main objective for the new labelling is for easy identification of all essential product label information at the point of purchase of bottled and sachet water and to also facilitate effective post market surveillance. The new directive she announced, takes effect from 1st October, 2019.
The Head of Food Evaluation and Registration at FDA, Mr. Percy Adomako Agyekum, announced that all labelling information on both primary and secondary packaging should be the same, the name and contact details of the franchisee(s), where applicable, should be on the principal display panel of the secondary as well as the primary package.
In her closing remarks, Mrs. Darko promised effective post market surveillance exercise to sanitise the industry. She equally urged the manufacturers to ensure that, their products are transported, stored and retailed under proper conditions to promote public health and safety.
A similar meeting will be held with another group of water manufacturers in Accra and repeated nationwide. In all, there were eighty-three (83) stakeholders present.