Heinz products meet safety standards, says Egyptian regulatory body

The food products of Heinz Egypt meet the health-and-safety specifications of the country, a regulatory body affiliated to the Ministry of Trade and Industry said on Sunday.

According to a ministry statement, Minister Tarek Qabil has received a detailed report issued by the Industry Control Authority (ICA) regarding the compliance of Heinz Egypt products with the country’s health-and-safety specifications.

The ICA report states that the company’s products “meet all the necessary standards for food produced in Egypt”.

The report follows a recent controversy about the company’s alleged use of rotten food in the preparation of some foodstuffs.

The report includes comments from the ICA regarding the company’s food storage practices, saying that the issues have now been fixed, according to the ministry’s statement. In the last visit by ICA inspectors, there was a noticeable improvement in storage, the report said.

The maker of the famous ketchup found itself in hot water after a video went viral that allegedly showed the processing of sub-standard tomatoes at a factory in Egypt. Heinz Egypt maintains that the video was misleading and inaccurate.

Ahmed Mahran, the head of the Cairo Centre for Political and Economic Studies, filed a complaint against Heiz Egypt based on claims of rotten food being used.

Mahran submitted to Cairo prosecutors a CD of videos and pictures allegedly showing “rotten” food that is “unsuitable for human consumption” being used in the company’s tomato-based products.

Heinz Egypt’s factory manager was arrested in December and detained on charges of using expired food in its products.

The decision to make the arrest was taken after security forces impounded 62 tonnes of “rotten and expired” products at one of the company’s factories in 6 October City.

The company, which was established in Egypt in 1991, is a condiment market leader, producing a variety of sauces and products, including tomato paste, mayonnaise and vinegar.

According to 2013 data, the company made annual sales of EGP 390 million and represents 75 percent of the ketchup market.

Source: Ahram Online