Food And Associated Industries 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 requirements 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 benchmarked against other national and international inspection systems and world best practices.

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.​

Approv​al and Inspection​​​

List of VC's and Regulated Product​

​Application Process​


Database of Approved Products​

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 seawater.

For this reason, only marine molluscs acquired from sources that are under the 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 to which commercially frozen fish are subjected, these parasites are dead and cannot be transferred to consumers when eating such fish. However, it has been indicated 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 a wormy type of parasites. ​



Contact Detail​​

Meisie Katz
General Manager - Cape Town

: Meisie.Katz@nrcs.org.za
: +27 (0) 21 526 3400
: + 27 (0) 21 526 ​3451

Andre de Wet
Operations Manager - Cape Town

: Andre.deWet@nrcs.org.za
: +27 (0) 21 526 3400
: + 27 (0) 21 526 ​3451

Andrey Dreyer
Operations Manager - Cape Town

: Andre.Dreyer@nrcs.org.za
: +27 (0) 21 526 3400
: + 27 (0) 21 526 ​3451

Kobus vd Merwe
Operations Manager - Pretoria

: Kobus.VanDerMerwe@nrcs.org.za
: +27 (0) 12 482 8904

Lynette Thumbran
Operations Manager - Pretoria

: Lynette.Thumbran@nrcs.org.za
: +27 (0) 12 482 ​8896

Grant Hingle
Principal Inspector - Durban

: Grant.Hingle@nrcs.org.za
: +27 (0) 31 203 2900
: + 27 (0) 31 203 2930

Nomfanelo Mazungula-Foster
Senior Inspector - Port Elizabeth

: Nomfanelo.Mazungula@nrcs.org.za
: +27 (0) 41 391 8400
: + 27 (0) 41 391 8427​