Malawi Bureau of Standard (MBS) officials on Monday inspected the re-iodisation of salt at Agora Limited warehouses in Limbe following the impounding of the commodity earlier due to failure to meet required standards.
MBS executive director Davlin Chokazinga said the re-iodisation of over 900 metric tonnes of salt will also take place at Farmers World, Agora’s sister company in Lilongwe.
“We impounded the stock about five months ago after tests revealed the salt was short of the required iodine content of between 75 and 100 milligrammes [mg] per kilogramme,” he said.
MBS, acting on a tip from the public, confiscated the salt and ordered that it be destroyed but later recommended that it should be re-iodised as its iodine content was below 50 mg.
Ministry of Health recommends that all salt sold in the country should comply with the set standards to avoid consumers developing various health conditions including goiter.
MBS has been conducting periodic checks to ensure that suppliers are complying with the regulations to avoid exposing the public to health risks.
Said Chokazinga: “We were resolute in our action to remove the salt from the market. Initially, we advised that the salt should be disposed of. But after careful thought, we realised that destroying a stock of that magnitude would be environmentally hazardous.
“Besides that, the salt was okay only that the iodine levels were not satisfactory. That is why we advised the owners to invest into re-iodisation.”
The company has since acquired a new machine that is being used to re-iodise the salt to comply with standards. An MBS officer is stationed at the company to oversee the process.
A representative of Agora and Farmers World, George Matipwiri, said in an interview the two companies have acknowledged the challenges and are acting on them. n