By Assan Bah
Omar Saye, a complainant against an expired food product (expired sardine to be pecise), has expressed his dissatisfaction with the Food Safety and Quality Authority (FSQA) on the way and manner they handled his report.
Saye who lodged his complaint regarding an expired tin of sardine with the FSQA, expressed disappointment with the latter, and said when “I discovered that the sardine I bought from the local shop was not fit for consumption which I believed was an expired product, I decided to report it to FSQA but I was not happy with the way they investigated my report.”
He said he went to the shop to buy sardines because his health condition did not allow him to take other foods.
“I went to the shop to buy sardines to eat. I was informed by the shopkeeper that there are two types with different prices of D30 and D35. I then asked him to give me the one costing D30 but when I opened the tin, I found it very different from the others, because the colour and taste were completely different. It was when I called my brother to inform him and later gave the sardines to a cat but it also vomited it afterwards,” Saye reported. He said when he reported the matter to FSQA, he was promised that investigation will be done to trace the main supplier.
“After sitting for days without information, I called them to know the outcome of the investigation but they told me that they have found the retailer who said his stocks are finished and they continued to the importer who said he has sold all his consignments for the past three months. However they told me that they had opened another tin of the same product but there was no problem found in it. But I expected them to call me and tell me that the sardines I bought was good and there was no problem in it,” Saye said.
He said lots of people have lost confidence in the food quality authority because of the outcomes they usually receive from them.
“There are lots of expired products in the country but some people will sometimes not report it because they will not get a positive outcome from the authorities,” he said.
Meanwhile, when contacted to shed light on the above complaint, Muhtarr Sonko, Principal Inspector at FSQA, said they had already done investigations on the above matter and were able to reach both the retailer and the importer of the product, who both said their stocks were finished for the past three months and they were not able to find it in the market. He further said that the tin that was taken there by Mr Saye was fine and there was no problem in it.
“One product having a problem does not mean that the whole products are infected because there was no problem found in the sardines that were brought by Mr Saye, and it was the only product we were able to use to do our investigations, since we found that there was no remaining sardines with the supplier and the importer,” Sonko added.
He urged the public (consumers) to report any expired product to the authority and allow them to do their independent investigations on the products they report.