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Ministry concerned with sale of expired items

The Ministry of Health & Medical Services has expressed its concern over reports of the sale of spoiled food items in some supermarkets across.

Permanent Secretary, Dr James Fong in a statement said the issue was brought to the attention of the Ministry by media members, who were alerted by the public.

The Ministry advises that complaints regarding the sale of spoiled or expired food items can be lodged at the nearest Health Office or Municipal Council Office.

There are 21 health offices and 13 municipal councils around the country.

Environmental Health Officers (EHOs), employed at these offices, are responsible for enforcing Fiji’s Food Safety Act and the Food Safety Regulations.

The frequency of inspection visits is determined by the health risks associated with each type of food-based business.

Noncompliance with the Food Safety Act and Food Safety Regulations can result in charges and prosecution for offending food premises and food-based businesses.

The Ministry’s Food Unit is also responsible for processing and issuing Health (Food) Licenses, inspecting and grading restaurants, receiving and investigating food complaints, conducting surveillance and training of food-based operators, and undertaking food sampling.

Outcomes of these activities are promptly addressed with food-based business operators to achieve safety standards and better food products.

Annually, the Food Unit processes nearly 6,000 food licenses, conducts over 3,000 inspections, investigates an average of 400 complaints, and conducts close to 400 food samplings.

In 2022, the Unit assessed and graded 175 restaurants and delivered 99 facility training sessions on Good Hygiene Practice.

The Ministry is committed to working together with food-based businesses and operators to ensure that food safety standards are not compromised, and the health and safety of the people are always protected.

Simran Chand
Simran Chand
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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