Consumers up in arms against sub standard products in supermarkets

Saturday December 03 2022

Employees of the Los Angeles United States Postal Service (USPS) plant work amid the Covid 19 pandemic on April 29, 2020 in California. The International Labour Organisation says employers need to ensure their workplaces meet strict occupational safety and health criteria, to minimise workers’ exposure to Covid-19. PHOTO | VALERIE MACON | AFP


Consumers have called on the Rwanda Food and Drug Authority (FDA) and other consumer protection authorities to step up inspection to stop sale of substandard goods in supermarket

The number of customers who took their complaints to social media claimed that substandard products have flooded the shelves of supermarkets.

Customers have flagged substandard products from chocolates, toiletries, deodorants and wines, to fake mosquito repellents and electronics.

FDA recently released a statement banning the sale of Toblerone chocolate, citing quality concerns.

This followed a complaint from a consumer who took to Twitter to complain about chocolate brand she bought from a local supermarket.

Upon seeing the complaint, FDA investigated the matter, after which it found the chocolate brand to be substandard.


“Rwanda FDA investigated and found that the chocolates did not comply with standards especially judging from their hardness and degraded color,” read part of the statement.

It said that “all importers of the chocolates, distributors and retailers were requested to remove them from the shelves and stop selling them,”

Consumers are, however, urged the body not to only be reactive to social media complaints, but to proactively do inspections and quality controls on batches of the products before they are put on the shelves.

And to also continue inspections even if they are on the shelves, to minimize chances of people consuming or using these substandard and sometimes defective products that can cause health hazards.

“You are treating a symptom, not the problem. This chocolate thing was just one example of a more general problem, there is a need for quality assurance and doing safety controls of our imported and local products, and their safety” said Ndekwe Gasana.

Another consumer, Alphonso Mugisha for instance said it is not only Toblerone chocolates that are of poor quality but a range of other chocolate brands and other packed snacks sold in supermarkets and shops around the city.