The Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS) has warned traders of packaged food products, including cooking oil, not to place them in direct sunlight because doing so could pose serious health risks to humans.
Mr Baraka Mbajije, An Inspector with TBS, stated this to reporters today at the TBS Headquarters Offices in Ubungo, Dar es Salaam.
He stated that during their research, they discovered that the majority of vendors display their products outside in the sun, a reason which has more disadvantages than advantages because it may endanger the health of consumers.
Exposing food products to the sunlight, according to Mr Mbajije, causes spoilage and reduces product quality even if the product hasn’t reached its expiration date.
“All food products contain various natural chemicals, but also for manufactured goods, there are some chemicals that are added with good intentions, either to supplement the nutrients or to set the time to be used, and if you store the chemicals in the food in a way that is labeled by the manufacturer or producer of the food, it can lead to food spoilage,” he said.
He also stated that dietary producers add vitamin A supplements to ensure that consumers use the best fats; however, when cooking oil is exposed to sunlight, Vitamin A is quickly eliminated, putting the user at risk of using unsafe fats.
“Traders who expose cooking oil or any other product containing these nutrients to the sun deprive Tanzanians who consume these foods of essential vitamins that producers have purposefully kept.” He stated that