West Point Processors dicing with lives of the poor

A giant food manufacturer, West Point Processors committed a cardinal sin of releasing food that is not fit for human consumption in the market. In such situations, the poor always bear the fatal brunt.

The recalling of the poorly canned pilchards drenched in tomato sauce with codes from ZST2 to ZSC2 is being done through press statements and a company’s website. Such a poor public awareness that rarely reach the lower sections of the society who consume the products is counterproductive and a negation of West Point Processors’ responsibility to protect consumers from their equally poisonous product. Scores of people who spoke to Vaal Observer condemned the poor handling of the issue by West Point Processers.

Gogos in Sebokeng or Evaton with no capacity to visit a website are surely compromising their health by consuming the red-flagged pilchards. A West Point official who only identified himself as Jason said the issue was being handled by the Consumer Regulatory Authorities, adding that he never received any instruction to run a media campaign in community newspapers to warn consumers about the product.

I never received such an instruction and the consumer regulatory authority is handling that,” said Jason in an interview with Vaal Observer.

West Point recalled 400 gram cans of pilchards in tomato sauce on Saturday, affecting Checkers, Shoprite and OK. The company said the tins used may have a canning deficiency.

The National Consumer Commission told eNCA that West Point Processors failed to inform them about the recall as per regulations. The commission also added that West Point was expected to run adverts in community media to effectively warn people about the product. Instead West Point Processors seems to have apportioned that responsibility to the Consumer regulatory authorities. Vaal Observer conducted street surveys in Vaal to check if people were aware of the recalling of the poorly canned pilchards. We interviewed 30 people in Sebokeng, Evaton and Meyerton. Only seven people were aware of the recalling and 23 professed ignorance about the potentially harmful tinned pilchards. Out of the 23 who know nothing about the recalling, 17 confirmed that they ate West Point Processors products this week.

Meanwhile the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS) has ordered all wholesalers and retailers to remove a dozen brands from their shelves..

The company has remained tight lipped on the recall.

The National Consumer Commission Acting Commissioner Thezi Mabuza said no formal communication was made to thee by West Point Processor.

“Please take the product to the store whether you have a receipt or not. The recall strategy must reach those in far-flung areas,” said Mabuza

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