By: Lerato Kuoe

Food safety is a global concern. Contaminated food products can lead to serious foodborne illnesses and nutritional deficiencies. One such example occurred during 2017, when 1,060 cases of Listeriosis were confirmed in South Africa, which led to about 216 deaths. The outbreak resulted from the consumption of contaminated processed meat products. For a community like Basotho, where access to high-quality, nutritious food is vital, the stakes are incredibly high.

Nourishing a population should be at the heart of any nation. The Government of Lesotho recently endorsed legislation to regulate the nutritional value of maize meal and wheat flour through fortification. Despite the high costs associated with adding vitamins and minerals, there should be no compromise. Every Mosotho deserves a fair chance at a safe, healthy, and nourishing diet. Fortification ensures that products provide essential micronutrients, which might otherwise be lacking in daily diets.

As a Quality Control Manager at Lesotho Flour Mills, I’ve dedicated my career to safeguarding the quality of our products. The importance of food production quality control is immense. Here at Lesotho Flour Mills, we fully support the endorsed fortification legislation to ensure that we, as Basotho, are properly nourished.

Globally, the milling industry has seen significant advancements in technology and practices to improve food safety and quality. From advanced sampling techniques to real-time data analysis using various technologies, Lesotho Flour Mills has invested in several innovations and technologies to monitor and maintain the highest standards of quality.

The role of quality control extends beyond just safety; it is about public health and trust. Consumers need to have confidence that the food they are consuming is not only safe but also of the highest quality. Our processes are designed to ensure that only the highest quality grains are used and that finished products meet our stringent standards. We inspect every truck, grade every grain, and monitor every stage of the milling process with precision and care.

Lesotho Flour Mills is also working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Security and Nutrition to ensure that local farmers understand the importance of producing high-quality maize and wheat. In recent months, I have participated in workshops held by the Ministry to promote local production and to explain grading processes and regulations. We are committed to buying all locally produced wheat and maize.

The Government of Lesotho is not only committed to fortification and grading standards but also collaborates with several organisations, like the World Food Program, to feed school children through school feeding programs. Lesotho Flour Mills has always closely worked with these organisations to support these initiatives, especially in cooperation with the World Food Program.

In conclusion, Lesotho Flour Mills is committed to food safety and nutrition. This dedication to excellence is not just a part of our operations; it is the foundation of our mission to nourish our nation.