The National Consumer Council (NCC) has launched an investigation into Grandisync CC, the supplier of Howe Instant Noodles, after having reasonable suspicion to believe that “unsafe goods or goods that posed a potential risk to the public” were supplied. This comes after the deaths of three children in the Eastern Cape.
According to a statement on Thursday, the acting national consumer commissioner, Thezi Mabuza, said
“Consumer safety is at the heart of the Consumer Protection Act (CPA).
“Should our investigation reveal that, indeed, Grandisync 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 (one million rands), whichever is the greater.”
Mabuza went on to say that that while the commission was awaiting laboratory results, the investigation would assist with understanding the nature, cause, extent and degree of the risk to the public.
“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 expressed.
Upon addressing the incident which took place in November, police spokesperson Col Priscilla Naidu previously said: “the 11-year-old girl went to the shop and bought a packet of noodles. She then cooked it and the three children ate it before leaving to go back [home] to Motherwell.”
When they arrived home in Motherwell, the 11-year-old complained of nausea.
“Her grandmother gave her some water to drink.
“The 7-year-old also complained of stomach cramps and nausea,” Naidu adds.
While being driven to the Motherwell clinic, they passed away, and shortly after the two children left for hospital, four-month-old Athenkosi also died on the way to hospital in another vehicle.