The Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) says it has recorded numerous complaints from consumers of Castel Group beverages, particularly on foreign objects found in bottles.
In an interview, MBS director general Davlin Chokazinga said the regulator feels the company’s weakest point is on inspection.
“People are bringing these complaints to our offices. While others are fake, the majority are genuine.
“This started from the period of Carlsberg Malawi Limited and worsened with the new company,” he said.
Chokazinga said the company promised to work on inspection by buying a UV machine to detect any foreign bodies.
“But they have not yet done that. They once told us that they could not find the machine,” he said.
According to Chokazinga, MBS issued a last warning to Castel on buying the machine.
“We have given them a deadline to buy that machine because this issue is a concern to us and the board of directors. We would like to stop it,” he said.
Chokazinga asked all affected consumers to take the drinks to MBS offices within their reach.
One consumer who bought a Fanta Pineapple flavoured drink from an outlet in Mzuzu City, found a Fanta Orange bottletop in the drink.
“I also bought one of their drinks last month, which had a fly in it,” he claimed.
Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama)executive director John Kapito, in an interview on Tuesday, said his organisation has also been flooded with complaints from consumers.
“We started receiving these complaints during the time of Carlsberg. But now it is even worse. While the number of complaints have risen sharply, we don’t understand why the Malawi Bureau of Standards is not acting on that,” he said.
The development comes a few months after the company supplied defective Sobo Orange Squash on the market and later recalled the product. The company issued an apology to its consumers.
However, when The Nation inquired on the matter, Castel spokesperson Towela Munthali said they are organising a media tour where, among others, they will respond to the queries.