The Ministry of Health says Zambia only has one National Food Laboratory based in Lusaka with some hubs dotted around the country, a situation that makes it difficult to regulate and monitor the safety of foods.
Ministry Public Analyst Dr. Sumbukeni Kowa says inadequate surveillance officers that can monitor the safety of foods in the food value chain from production to consumption is another challenge the Ministry faces.
Speaking at the media sensitization meeting on food safety, Dr. Kowa said there is a need to invest in the inspectorate wing to sample products especially in open places and in laboratories with the aim to build nine more laborites countrywide by 2026.
He said that the export and import of foods still face challenges of counterfeit products which require the public to be vigilant in order to safeguard their health.
And Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary for Technical Services Professor Lackson Kasonka said unsafe food is a major cost to Zambia’s economy and a threat to public health.