Overview​

 

The inspection system of the Food & Associated Industries Department (FAI) is based on monitoring and surveillance of factories, processes and products.


FAI also conducts market surveillance inspections and participates actively in the Border enforcement activities of the NRCS.

FAI assists role players to comply with local and international requiremen​​ts, and is recognized by Authorities in various countries, such as China, Russia and the EU, as the competent authority for the inspection and issue of health guarantees of fish or fishery products destined for Europe.

FAI is an internationally accredited inspection body and fully complies with SANS/ISO 17020 General Criteria for the Operation of Various Types of Bodies Performing Inspection. It has a panel of highly trained and technically competent inspectors, some of whom are ​expert members of international food inspection bodies.

FAI works in close co-operation with other regulators of food safety and inspectors are authorized to carry out inspections on behalf of the Department of Health in terms of the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act. FAI participates actively in national and international food safety activities including those of the Codex Alimentarius Commission. This is necessary because South Africa is a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and South African food regulatory authorities are obliged to ensure compliance with the WTO Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) and Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) agreements.
The department has entered into a number of international technical co-operation agreements and inspection standards are continuously bench marked against other national and international inspection systems and world best practice.


FAI is responsible for the processing and sampling of aqua-culture products in co-operation with other Government roleplayers, hence supporting the Ocean Economy as iterated in the Operation Phakisa.​

​List of VC's​ regulated products


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VC 9107.pdf
  
VC91078/10/2018Compulsory specification for aquacultured live and chilled raw bivalve molluscsCompulsory specification for aquacultured live and chilled raw bivalve molluscs
VC9104.pdf
  
VC91048/19/2016Compulsory specification for live lobstersCompulsory specification for live lobsters
VC9100.pdf
  
VC91008/8/2019Compulsory specification for processed meat products Compulsory specification for processed meat products
VC9001.pdf
  
VC90016/15/2012Compulsory specification for live aquacultured abaloneCompulsory specification for live aquacultured abalone
VC8031.pdf
  
VC80314/24/2015Compulsory specification for frozen shrimps (prawns), langoustines and crabsCompulsory specification for frozen shrimps (prawns), langoustines and crabs
VC8021.pdf
  
VC80213/22/1974Compulsory specification for smoked snoekCompulsory specification for smoked snoek
VC8020.pdf
  
VC80207/4/2003Compulsory specification for frozen rock lobster and frozen lobster products derived therefromCompulsory specification for frozen rock lobster and frozen lobster products derived therefrom
VC8014.pdf
  
VC80146/22/2018Compulsory specification for the manufacture, production, processing and treatment of canned fish, canned marine molluscs and canned crustaceansCompulsory specification for the manufacture, production, processing and treatment of canned fish, canned marine molluscs and canned crustaceans
VC8017.pdf
  
VC80174/24/2015Compulsory specification for frozen fish, frozen marine molluscs and frozen products derived therefromCompulsory specification for frozen fish, frozen marine molluscs and frozen products derived therefrom
VC8019.pdf
  
VC80197/9/2004Compulsory specification for the manufacture, production, processing and treatment of canned meat productsCompulsory specification for the manufacture, production, processing and treatment of canned meat products
2019-09-06 VC8019.pdf
  
2019-09-06 VC80199/6/2019Compulsory specification for the manufacture, production, processing and treatment of canned meat productsCompulsory specification for the manufacture, production, processing and treatment of canned meat products
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Foods and Associated Industries​ Forms


Frequently Asked Questions


Q. Why is the flesh of Smoked Snoek sometimes soft and can such fish be eaten?

A. Certain organisms associated with Snoek, under certain conditions excrete very active enzymes that dissolve the protein chains of the flesh and when the fish is cooked, the flesh becomes very soft and broken up.

The fish is safe to eat and won’t harm consumers. Unfortunately, this condition is not always obvious in the uncooked fish.

In a similar manner, canned pilchards may also become very brittle inside the can.

Q. Why do frozen prawns sometimes become black on the surface?

A. The blackening can be attributed to a process called melanosis, which is a chemical reaction combining certain sugars, amino-acids and certain spore elements, like iron and copper in the prawns into the melanin compound.

The process is prevented by the use of certain anti-oxidants, such as sulphur dioxide.

Q. Why do people often become ill from mussels, oysters and similar marine molluscs?

A. Marine molluscs are known to accumulate certain marine biotoxins, excreted by certain

Dynoflaggelates and bacteria present in the sea water.

For this reason, only marine molluscs acquired from sources that are under official control of Government bodies, should be consumed. It is dangerous to consume molluscan shellfish acquired in any other way.

Q. Sometimes, certain parasites are present in frozen fish products. Are they harmful when ingested by consumers?

A. Due to the low temperatures at which commercially frozen fish are subjected to, these parasites are dead and cannot be transferred to consumers when eating such fish. However, it has been indicted that a particular type of parasite can cause some allergic reactions to consumers, but only when they are present in large quantities. Consumers are thus advised not to eat fish that are infested with large quantities of wormy type of parasites. ​