After discovering one, Ahmedin Shafi, who was caught red handed while producing foods, beverages and preservatives using outdated ingredients this week, the Ethiopian Food, Medicines and Health Care Administration and Control Authority (FMHCACA) have issued an order to the company to recall all of its products from the market although some of the items produced by the food processor are still sold in some markets outside of Addis Ababa.
Ahmedin is accused of producing and selling beverages, preservatives and other drinks such mango juice, vinegar and vimto drink using outdated raw material. It includes specific brands such as Arif Mango Juice, Perfect vinegar, Delicious and Amorous Vimto brands.
The Authority uncovered the activities of Ahmedin Shafi Adem Food Processing Plc. two weeks ago. And subsequently, the company was instructed to recall all of its products from the market while sources of The Reporter disclosed that some of the aforementioned products are still in the market outside Addis Ababa.
In this respect, The Reporter has found out that a sample of Perfect vinegar and Vimto are still sold at a price of 20 birr and 100 birr, respectively, in Dire Dawa Town. Vinegar is usually used in the preparation of salads across the country.
Before the announcement was made by the Authority, its quality inspectors have discovered that the products were openly sold in the markets and were in use both in the public and private hospitals and shops in Addis Ababa. In addition to Addis’s distribution center, the plant has been distributing its products to Debrezeit (Bishoftu), another town in close proximity to the capital.
In addition, shops around Gandi and Black Lion Hospital are amongst the areas where the owner used to distribute his products.
The individual was involved in this activity for the past two years.
He was then caught by quality inspectors dispatched by the authority. Ahmedin has established a food processing company in Addis Ababa, Kolfe Sub city.
The factory has been used as both production plant as well as distribution hub for the expired product across the country.
These products, in addition to being produced using expired ingredients they have been processed within a plant that doesn’t comply with good manufacturing practices. In this respect, the company has been working inside a facility made of corrugated sheet.
In addition, the company has been accused of falsifying product labels such as the Mango Juices label which says it is made of natural mango product while in fact it was made of artificial mango flavors.
According to the Authority, the juices have never passed through the usual pasteurization process which used to kill photogenic bacteria and keep the food safe.
Our legal department is working to institute legal charges on company, Abera Deneke, communication officer of the Authority told The Reporter.
In the mean time, the authority has instructed Ahmedin to recall all of its products from the market across the country.
If anyone came and ask for compensation for any possible health impact or any other possible damages because of the product, the owner will be charged, he said.
“The Authority which was established as Drug Administration and Control Authority, has among other things the power and duty to set standards for food safety and quality; identify ingredients that causes death or ill health due to medicine residue or adulteration of medicines and food and take appropriate measures by conducting investigation on sample ingredients,” according to its website.
Over the past fiscal year, as part of its mandate, the authority said that it has disposed 600.8 million birr worth of drugs, medicine, cleaning products as well as foods and food ingredients which are declared outdated.