Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) on Thursday opened a new food safety laboratory in Mbale City. The laboratory will prioritize consumer health and facilitate speedy testing of Uganda’s food for local markets and export.
The laboratory will be the centre where the standards of various products including juice, water, food, and other beverages in the Eastern region are tested before given a go ahead to the be sold to the general public or exported.
It was commissioned by the Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Francis Mwebesa, at UNBS regional officers in Mbale City.
Mwebesa, welcomed the Bureau’s initiative of taking its services nearer to the people despite the constraints in resources and pledged his support to complement the effort.
The minister says, the Quality Standards are critical in supporting the Government’s Industrialization Agenda, the Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) Policy, Imports Substitution and Export Promotion Strategies.
He asked all enterprises engaged in any form of production, value addition and trade to embrace quality standards by dealing in quality and safe products in order to protect public health and safety.
David Livingstone Ebiru, the Executive Director of Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS), said that the construction of the laboratory is part of the Bureau’s strategic plan to decentralize quality infrastructure and other standardization services to other parts of the Country.
Henrik Jespersen, the Deputy Danish Ambassador to Uganda, acknowledged the Bureau for putting the support extended to the best use and hoped that this will significantly contribute to the safety and quality of Ugandan made products on the market.
The Regional Laboratories will be testing a wide range of products, both food and non-food items such as edible fats and oils, milk and milk products, water, fruits and vegetables, cereals and cereal products, grains and animal products, among others.
This is the second food laboratory opened by UNBS. The first was constructed in 2019 in Bweyogere.