THE GOVERNMENT ANALYST LABORATORY
The Government Analyst is a national laboratory under the Ministry of Health and Child Care. It is mandated to analyse samples for medico-legal purposes and in support of government programmes, to co-ordinate the national food control program and food standards development work and to provide technical advice and information on issues pertaining to food quality and standardization, water treatment and industrial processing and environmental pollution. The laboratory is also the National Codex Contact Point and the secretariat to Food Standards Advisory Board.
To be the best Regulatory /Analytical Laboratory for Food, Water, Toxicology/Clinical and Industrial inputs/product samples analysis and information sharing.
To promote health for all Zimbabweans through the provision of laboratory analysis, scientific and technical information and to participate in health preventive and support programmes.
- To analyse all submitted samples (Food, Water, Toxicology/Clinical and Industrial inputs or products timely.
- To proffer technical advice to assist clients’ decision making with reference to above.
- To review the Food and Food Standards Regulations as necessary and appraise the Minister of Health and Child Care, Top Management Team and the general public accordingly.
- To verify and certify products hence facilitate fair food trade and access to safe food and water by the public.
- To procure equipment and instruments meeting ISO 17025 standards and train users to improve laboratory capacity.
- To compile and share information of non-complying sample analyses results with stakeholders for necessary intervention.
- To implement ISO 17025 Quality Standards for QI/QA/TQM and sustain access by clients to quality analytical service as and when required.
- To house and offer secretariat service to the National CODEX Committee.
- To house and offer secretariat service to the Food Standards Advisory Board (FSAB) See Below for TOR for the FSAB.
Quality Policy Summary
We are a laboratory committed to the provision of quality analytical services in the areas of Food, Water, Clinical, Toxicology and Industrial inputs/products. We aim to satisfy stated and implied need and requirements of our customer through the implementation of ISO 17025 Quality Management Systems. The Laboratory offers affordable, accurate and timely service. Our objective is to continually improve efficiency and effectiveness of our operations and information sharing to protect public health. The personnel working at the laboratory is trained to be familiar with the Quality Assurance system.
Confidentiality, Honest, Affordable, Client focus, Result oriented, Accountable and Timeliness.
GOVERNMENT ANALYST LABORATORY UNITS
The unit chemically and microbiologically analyse samples for compliance with national and international standards. It proffers technical information to clients on matters related to food composition and legislation governing the quality and safety of food.
The unit chemically analyses potable water samples, effluent and waste water to determine their suitability for human consumption and /or discharge into public water ways for pollution control respectively. It also offers technical advice to clients.
Toxicology and Clinical Unit
The unit analyses post mortem specimens for toxic substances to establish the cause of sudden death cases as a service to the Ministry of Home Affairs and give evidence in the court of Law to finalise deceased estate cases. It also handles clinical samples for Therapeutic Drug Monitoring, Emergency Toxicology and Heavy metal analysis as well as monitoring occupational exposure to hazardous substances as a service to health care institutions, companies and individuals.
Industrial Chemistry Unit
The unit analyses industrial inputs and products for compliance with the Hazardous Substances and Articles Regulations. It also analyses malaria spraying chemicals for efficacy, residual pesticides if fruits and vegetables and alcoholic beverages for alcohol content.
Iodine Deficiency Disorders (IDD) Unit
The unit analyses iodine in salt to asses adequate iodization and urine samples as biological indicators for iodine deficiency disorders.
Legislation, Regulations Guideline and Policies
- Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No.20 Act 2013 Section 77.
- Public Health Act
- Food and Food Standards Act(CAP 321)
- Hazardous Substances Control Act (2000)
- Drugs and Allied Substances Act
- Dairy Act
- Water Act
- Health Services Regulations(2006)
- Guidelines for Drinking Water Quality WHO(2008) Regulations
- Water(Effluent and Waste Water Standards) Regulations/(2000)
- Codex Alimentarius Commission Guidelines
- Food Security and Nutrition Policy
- Environmental Health Department
- Local Authorities
- Government Departments
- Private Clients
- Non- Governmental Organizations
THE ZIMBABWE FOOD STANDARDS ADVISORY BOARD (FSAB).
The Food and Food Standards Act Chapter 321 was promulgated in 1971. The purpose was to provide for the sale, importation for sale of food in a pure state; to prohibit the sale, importation and manufacture for sale of food which is falsely described; and to provide for the fixing of standards relating to food and matters incidental hereto.
The Act was amended in 1973, 1976, 1979, 1981, 1988 and 1994.
The latest version is the Food and Food Standards Act Chapter 15:04. Section 18 of this Act provides for the FSAB and its membership.
In accordance with section 27 of the FFA Chapter 15:04 the Minister gazetted Statutory Instrument 322 of 1995 which provides for the FSAB.
FFSA Chapter 18 subsection 1(a) to 1(l) provides for members of the FSAB and the institutions they come from. The Secretary of Health is a member of the FSAB. Subsection (6) provides for the secretary to the board who is usually the Deputy Director-Food Control in accordance with Public Service job description as advised by the Minister of Health.
All members are appointed on a three year term by the Minister of Health.
TERMS OF REFERENCE OF THE FSAB
In accordance with Section 18 subsection 5 of the Act, the broad function of the FSAB is to advise the Minister of Health on all maters relating to Food and Food Standards.
SPECIFIC TERMS OF REFERENCES ARE:
National Food Regulations, Food Standards Laws
and Food Safety and Quality Policy.
1. To formulate food safety and quality policy and advise the Minister of Health accordingly.
2. To amend and revise food laws and regulations then advise the Minister of Health.
- To consider applications for use or introduction of new food products, ingredients or food articles on the market and advise the Minister accordingly.
- To certify on behalf of the Minister, food products for purposes of local sale, export and import.
- To carry out risk analysis for food contaminants and advise the Minister accordingly.
- To coordinate food safety control programme along the supply chain (farm to table approach)
- To assist in the education of consumers on food safety and quality issues.
- To make regulations to provide for all matters relating to the Board, Including:
- Remuneration, allowances, and conditions of office of members of the Board and its committees.
- The vacation of office by members of the Board and its committees.
- The procedure of the Board and its committees
- The establishment of committees by the Board and generally provide for the efficient carrying out of the objects and purposes of this Act.
- To function as the National CODEX Committee and to deliberate on issues to be discussed at international CODEX meetings and come up with Zimbabwe position on food standards issues.
- To create awareness of CODEX recommended codes of practices, guidelines and standards HACCP, GMP, GHP and GAP among food producers.
- To make food regulations that provide standards for:
(a) The composition, strength, potency purity, quality or other property of any food or of any ingredient or component part thereof.
(b) The nature or proportion of any foreign matter, which may be present in any food as a result of unavoidable or necessary admixture therewith during collection, preparation or manufacture.
(c) The composition of any mixed or compounded food.
(d) the proportions in which any substance or ingredient may be contained in food or which may be added to or mixed or diluted with food or prescribe any substance or ingredient which may not be contained in, added to or mixed or diluted with food.To make regulations for the methods, appliances and processes to be used in or applied to or not to be used in or applied to the manufacture, preparation, preservation or packing of food or any of its substances or ingredients.
(e) food, if in the Minister’s opinion:
- The nutritional value of the food will be improved by the addition of the substance or the application of the process.
- It is in the interests of the health of the public for the substance to be added or the process to be applied to the food.
(f) to provide for the inspection and detection or removal for analysis or examination of any package, wrapper, container, appliance or other article used in connection with any food.
(g) control of food import and export.
(h) the minimum requirements in respect of;
- Premises used for;
- Employees engaged in the sale, manufacture, production, processing and treatment of foods.
(i) to provide for the method of testing, examining or analysing any food in terms of this Act and the form of affidavit to be used by an analyst in making a report upon such examination or analysis.
(j) to provide for the mode of labelling food or packages containing the same, or bulk stock from which food is taken for sale, and the matter to be contained or not to be contained on such labels.
(k) the control and regulation of advertisements relating to any food and, in particular, the prohibition of any such advertisement, which is false or misleading.
(l) preservative to be used by inspectors for preventing decomposition or other change in samples taken under this Act.
(m)Prescription of the duties of analysts’ and inspectors under this Act.
- To act as National CODEX Committee (NCC) and coordinate work of the 9 Technical Sub Committees of
- TC 1 High Level Issues
- TC 2 Fresh Produce Items
- TC 3 Processed Food Items
- TC 4 Hygiene Matters-
- TC 5 Food Contaminants-
- TC 6 Nutrition-
- TC 7 Food Inspection-
- TC 8 Methods of Analysis and Sampling
- TC 9 Miscellaneous Items
- Documents, Reports, Strategies
- Composition of FSAB
1. Chairman: A member of the law society of Zimbabwe,
2. Secretary: Gvt Analyst Lab Deputy Director –Food Control,
3. Other members: Director - Government Analyst Laboratory
4. Secretary of Health appointee Environmental Health
5. Secretary of Health appointee Nutrition Department
6. Principal Director: Veterinary Services or appointee.
7. Principal Director: Agriculture Research and Extension services. 8. Representative: Ministry of Industry & International Trade.
9. Representative: Biosafety Authority of Zimbabwe.
10. Representative: Farmers Organisations.
11 Representative: Retailers Association of Zimbabwe.
12. Representative: Consumer Council of Zimbabwe.
13. Representative: Municipal Health Officers Association of Zimbabwe. 14. Representative: Standards Association of Zimbabwe.
15. Representative: Food Manufacturers, Zimbabwe.
16. Representative: Food Manufacturers, Zimbabwe.
2. Deputy Director- Food Control
3. Deputy Director- Toxi/Clinical and Admin
5. Further information on the NCC can be found on its website www.zimcodex.gov.zw.