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Mary Gordon Muortat, the chief executive officer of SSNBS (Photo by Bida Elly).

South Sudan market flooded with expired food items: SSNBS

The South Sudan National Bureau of Standards (SSNBS) has warned of the continued presence of substandard or expired food products in the market, after 70 trucks carrying food destined for Juba were recently impounded pending aflatoxins test.

 Mary Gordon Muortat, the chief executive officer of SSNBS, said on Thursday they have launched operation to inspect food products in the market in order to confiscate expired food items.

 “We are doing our best as a country to really clean our imports, we have a very large influx of imports but the majority of these imports are either substandard or counterfeits,” Muortat told journalists after dumping some of the expired food products in Juba.

“The reason why we are doing the dumping is to destroy what is unfit for human consumption, to ensure that they safeguard the health of the consumers and to ensure that whatever comes into the country is fit for human consumption,” she added.

In early July, the SSNBS impounded 70 trucks pending test for aflatoxins.

At least five consignments of maize grain and flour that were destined for South Sudan are to be destroyed by the Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) because of a failed aflatoxin test.

In a statement released last week, UNBS has since cautioned Ugandan traders dealing in supplies of food stuff to comply with the requirements of safety and quality standards.

“Accordingly, the 20 consignments which passed the aflatoxin test will be released to the owners for further management while the five consignments which failed the test will be seized at Elegu border pending their disposal,” read in part the statement by UNBS.

Aflatoxins are a family of toxins produced by certain fungi that are found on agricultural crops such as maize (corn), peanuts, cottonseed, and tree nuts.

The main fungi that produce aflatoxins are Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus, which are abundant in warm and humid regions of the world.

Aflatoxin-producing fungi can contaminate crops in the field, at harvest, and during storage.Exposure to aflatoxins is associated with an increased risk of liver cancer.

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