One Hundred (100) underweight loaves of bread were seized from a Shoprite outlet in Ndola following an inspection by Zambia Weights and Measures Agency. The inspection was carried out to investigate compliance with the Weights and Measures Act Cap 403 of the Laws of Zambia. The Agency had received complaints from members of the public in Ndola over suspicions of underweight bread from the retail outlet.
According to Weights and Measures Regulations, bread shall be sold by in three prescribed weights, which is 600g,700g and 800g and the weight must not be more than two percent in deficiency or four percent in excess.
During the inspection at the Shoprite outlet in Ndola, one hundred (100) loaves of the sampled bread failed the inspection and were seized to ensure there is no risk of supplying underweight bread on the market, stated ZWMA public relations officer, Mutale Chileshe.
The production of bread was also stopped until the challenge causing the production of underweight bread was addressed. The Shoprite outlet has since been cautioned and instructed to establish a quality control system in their bread production line.
And the Zambia Weights and Measures Agencyhas advised Zambezi Portland Cement Plant in Ndola to brand their packing material to indicate “net content” as opposed to” 50 kg packed”.
Prepackaging and labelling regulations prohibit putting qualifier statements such as “when packed” or “as packed” to declared quantities of the prepackaged product. Labelling on the prepackaged commodities should only state the net content of the product.
The Agency, however, commended Zambezi Portland Cement Plant in Ndola for its internal monitoring system, in which they randomly test bags from the production line to ensure no under-weight bags of cement are sold to the end users.
This was commendable as the system provides checks and balances to ensure control on the quantity of the product. The company has also been commended on complying with the provision of the Weights and Measures ACT CAP 403 of the Laws of Zambia on the declared quantities sold.
This is when the Agency carried out a random inspection at the plant where one hundred (100) bags of 50kg cement were inspected and tested. All the 50 Kg bags of cement passed the inspection test. The Agency, therefore, would like urge production companies to ensure they put in quantity control measures so that their products have accurate quantities.
Members of public have of late started reporting erring companies which they suspect to be selling under-weight products. Some businesses are adamant to resolve these complaints as they have no proper systems to handle and manage complaints from their customers.