UNBS cautions kombucha drinks manufacturers on hygiene standards

UNBS cautions kombucha drinks manufacturers on hygiene standards
UNBS sensitizing kombucha manufacturers in Mityana about the Kombucha Standard and Certification process

Kampala, Uganda | URN | The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has cautioned manufacturers of fermented drinks commonly known as kombucha on maintaining hygiene standards.

UNBS officials say that they have started to enforce standards on kombucha specifications in regard to the code of practice for hygiene in food and manufacturing industry.

Sarah Nantongo, a UNBS surveillance officer said that the enforcement has commenced with Mityana and Mubende districts and that the operations would soon proceed to other parts of the county.

Nantongo asked the manufactures to follow the good manufacturing practices to make their products safe to benefit the end user in a safe manner. She warned that UNBS does not encourage poor hygiene in factories and as such, the standards body would help the manufacturers to follow the guidelines and procedures to produce safe products.

According to Nantongo, they have started with sensitization workshops to inform the manufacturers of the required standards before enforcement. The standards according to Nantongo include one for labeling of pre-packaged foods which include kombucha drinks and that whoever enters into the business of manufacturing, has to follow the standards.

She made the remarks while addressing manufacturers of kombucha drinks from Mityana and Mubende districts which was aimed at creating awareness about the available standards and the enforcement measures. Nantongo said that during the enforcement processes, the manufacturers were asked to provide all the documents which indicate the processes that they follow as well as materials used for confirmation.

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Ronald Ahimbisibwe, head of the Quantitative Mark – Q-Mark awarding department of UNBS said that the enforcement of standards is aimed at achieving quality life and economic development. He said that there is need to coordinate with other agencies like the National Drug Authority (NDA), Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) and Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to reduce on the burden of fighting counterfeits since it affects direct company reputation.

He observed that most of the manufacturers of kombucha drinks in Mityana and Mubende districts have no laboratories to test their products, a situation that raises questions about their works.