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NCC probes Howe Instant Noodles supplier following children's deaths

South Africa's National Consumer Commission (NCC) is investigating Grandisyn CC, the supplier of Howe Instant Noodles, stating that the commission has "reasonable suspicion" that the Uitenhage-based company "supplied unsafe goods or goods that posed a potential risk to the public".
Source: pexels

The suspicion is based on information provided to the commission by other regulators and the supplier, the watchdog says.

The investigation follows the deaths of three children in the Eastern Cape in November after they reportedly ate noodles. Shortly after, a pair of siblings in Mpumalanga died, also allegedly after eating instant noodles. The Department of Health subsequently announced it was investigating cases of possible food poisoning in both provinces, as well as Gauteng.

Acting National Consumer Commissioner Thezi Mabuza says that while the commission is awaiting laboratory results, this investigation will help it understand the nature, causes, extent, and degree of the risk to the public.

“Consumer safety is at the heart of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA). Should our investigation reveal that indeed Grandisnyc CC contravened the provisions of the Act, we will refer the matter to the National Consumer Tribunal for the imposition of an administrative fine of 10% of their total annual turnover or R1,000,000; whichever is the greater.

“As regulators in the food safety environment, we will get to the bottom of this matter to ensure that those liable are held accountable. We urge consumers to practice good food hygiene. Suppliers are obligated to protect consumers; where there are potential hazards, suppliers are required to inform the relevant regulators and consumers,” Mabuza says.

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