Trade Resources Industry Views Bureau of Standards Jamaica Reviews Packaging Requirements for Flour and Rice

Bureau of Standards Jamaica Reviews Packaging Requirements for Flour and Rice

The Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) is evaluating the packaging standards for commodities like flour and rice.

Consumers will be inspired to only purchase products, which meet the packaging and labeling criteria.

BSJ standards division director Julia Bonner Douette said the objective is to ensure that all heavily consumed food items have similar packaging standards like sugar.

Douette noted that the bureau is deliberating the technicalities to implement standards.

The adequate packaging will extend the shelf life of a product, which will enable to significantly prevent any waste such as leakage or deterioration that is expected to occur during transportation and distribution, said Douette.

She also added that proper packaging is essential in order to keep food safe and ensure accurate environmental conditions until it is consumed.

Douette further added: “A good package should provide a barrier against dirt and other contaminants, thus keeping the product clean.

“It should protect food against physical and chemical damage, for example, the harmful effects of air, light, insects, and rodents, and it should help the customers to identify the food, instruct them how to use it correctly as well as inform them when it was manufactured and when it expires.

All sugar sold to the public is needed to be packaged, sealed, and labeled, effectively 1 July 2017.

Additionally, all pre-packers need to be registered with the NCRA, which carries out testing and other functions formerly undertaken by the BSJ.

The decision is in line with the revised mandatory standards for brown cane sugar, gazetted on 30 December, 2016, which defined the needs for labelling, packaging and safety of sugar.

As per the Standards Act, a fine of $3m and one year in prison will be charged for non-compliance with the labeling and packaging standards for sugar sold in the retail market.

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