Blitz on water bottlers

The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare and the Food Standards Advisory Board are planning a blitz on unregistered water bottlers in a bid to protect the public from consuming unsafe water.

Zimbabwe has witnessed a proliferation of companies in the water bottling trade due to widespread water shortages. According to health officials, some of the mushrooming companies have not been sticking to quality and safety regulations.

Any bottled water brand without a certification letter from the Secretary for Health is not registered. “Where a bottle water brand is on sale and does not have the secretary’s certification letter, it will be removed from shelves and destroyed. Port health officers will also check on imported water brands,” an FSAB spokesperson said.

All prospective bottlers should submit a sample to the Government Analyst Laboratory for initial assessment to check if the water is chemically and microbiologically suitable for bottling.

Should the water be acceptable and meet the requirements of the regulations, the bottler is required to re-submit to the laboratory through a food inspector a sample of the water as it will be sold, together with a water source and bottling plant inspection report.

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