Malawi Government has said it does not have the capacity to know if imported beef products are contaminated with donkey, camel or any other meat.
Malawi Bureau of Standard (MBS) director general Davlin Chokazinga said this in an interview on Tuesday amid reports that beef products from South Africa are also contaminated with buffalo, donkey, pig and goat meat.
There are also reports that some chicken products from South Africa contain pork and Stellenbosch University has confirmed this.
Chokazinga said to know if the meat is contaminated involves conducting a DNA test which MBS does not do.
“DNA testing has more to do with health-related issues not quality assurance. MBS, at the moment, do not have that capacity,” he said, adding that they are working hand in hand with Chancellor College to develop that capacity.
But Minister of Industry and Trade Sosten Gwengwe has said government will ban beef imports from South Africa if it is confirmed that they are contaminated.
On lack of capacity, Gwengwe said they always rope in the South African Bureau of Standards (Sabs) where MBS has capacity shortfalls.
The Standard of Zimbabwe on Sunday reported that Zimbabwe has intensified checks on meat products imported from South Africa.
The Ministry of Health and Child Welfare in that country held a meeting with the Shipping Freight Association of Zimbabwe (SFAZ), cautioning them to follow strict guideline on food imports from South Africa.
The paper quoted Freddy Chinyavanhu, deputy director at the Food Standards Advisory Board (FSAB), warning that before any meat is imported into Zimbabwe, importers needed to produce a sanitary certificate, following a pre-shipment exercise that would have been conducted in the country of origin.