The Nigerian Bottling Company (NBC), bottlers of the Coca-Cola beverage brand in Nigeria said they adhere strictly to international standards in their manufacturing operations and safety at their plant.
Speaking at a media tour of their bottling plant in Agidingbi, a surburb of Lagos, which was meant to familiarize the media with their internal operational processes, the NBC Head, Public Affairs and Communications, Mr. Uzo Odenigbo said that the company exercises due care in the manufacturing and processing of their products in a way that makes it a surprise that consumers still find reasons never to complain about their products, the flagship of which is Coca-Cola and Fanta.
The plant, which is known to be the largest of the various plants, owned by the beverage company in Nigeria, has 12 lines where soft drinks, water and juice drinks are processed and packed.
Odenigbo said that NBC has been adjudged the best in terms of quality. “We have proved that we are still the best in terms of maintaining high quality standards in the production of our beverages and high level of compliance with NAFDAC’s regulation and policies.
“NBC recently was recognized by the Nigerian Social Insurance Trust Fund – Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NSITF-NECA) Safe Workplace Intervention Project during their 58th Annual General Meeting Award Ceremony of NECA which took place in Lagos.
At NBC, we give utmost priority to quality and safety as both form an integral part of our business plan. At the core of our business is our objective to produce and deliver world class quality products with zero tolerance to workplace accidents wherever we operate.
To achieve this, all employees, contractors on site and visitors are constantly re-oriented to adhere to stringent safety principles and practices, “he said.
During the facility tour, each visitor was provided with personal protective gear like overall, ear plugs, safety eye glasses, safety boots and hair net.
The company had set-up many food safety control checks and inspections to process dirty returned bottles from the public.
The first check starts as soon as the bottles are received from the public. They are inspected for chipped necks, breakages, heavy soiling, and foreign objects.
Thereafter, the bottles that do not meet the stringent standards are moved from the line and destroyed. The good ones are placed in crates and put on a conveyor belt to the uncaser machine, where they are removed from the crates.
A second check called the ‘Pre-inspection’ begins where inspectors go through the bottles again for chipped necks, damage, heavy soils, foreign objects like molds, cement, paint, candle-wax, etc.
Bottles that are heavily soiled are removed as part of control measure to ensure output quality is not compromised.
The bottles then go through the washer with its several stages to ensure thorough cleanliness before finally going to the rinser.
The bottles are again inspected for residual caustic, non-viable mold, bottle appearance and residual liquid. They are then transported to yet another point where they are inspected.
From this stage, the bottles are transferred to the All Surface Electronic Bottle Inspector machine where they are checked for defects.
If defects are found, the pusher rejects and pushes them out to another line, where they are taken out of the system.
At this stage, the bottles which have passed through the rigorous food safety inspections are transferred to the filler. Still there are several critical control measures to ensure that the end product meets the food safety standards.
It was observed that at any point during the production process, if a malfunction was detected, the entire production is put on hold until the quality re-verification is complete.
Everything is done to protect the interest of the consumer.