Graduate Hones in on Food Safety Through Master’s Research

Ms Noresha Govender.
Ms Noresha Govender.

How safe is our food? This is the question that Master of Business Law graduate, Ms Noresha Govender aimed to answer through her research on food safety in South Africa.

‘My research deals with a current issue that affects all South Africans. Food safety has been in the news lately, with many issues reported. However, little is being done to address this issue despite a number of deaths,’ said Govender.

Supervised by Dr Clydenia Stevens, the study provides a critical overview of the South African food safety legal framework. It assesses the extent to which it regulates food safety and how effective it has been in addressing food safety challenges.

‘The research found that, despite food safety regulations and the international commitment to ensure food safety, there are frequent violations of the law and a high incidence of foodborne diseases in South Africa. This means that food in South Africa is not very safe,’ said Govender.

The study also explored consumer rights and remedies under the Consumer Protection Act 68 of 2008 and discusses product liability and how businesses can be held accountable for unsafe food products.

‘Food safety is a shared responsibility. Businesses are not abiding by the regulations and they are not held accountable. Furthermore, many consumers are unaware of the law and the rights and remedies available to them when they are affected by a food safety issue. Consumers also have a responsibility to ensure food safety.’

Words: Thandiwe Jumo

Photograph: Sethu Dlamini

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