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Unit Steps Up Food Safety Checks

Unit Steps Up Food Safety Checks
April 09
11:00 2018

In the wake of severe rain and flooding affecting the country, the Food and Nutrition Unit of the Ministry of Health and Medi­cal Services has started a food sur­veillance exercise.

The exercise aims to address food safety issues that can impact public health.

As part of the exercise, the Minis­try of Health and Medical Services had advised the general public to be vigilant while buying food items in flood-affected areas.

The unit co-ordinates food safety surveillance, which is an ongoing programme to monitor compliance in line with structural, hygienic, processing, labelling, quality and products standards.

Since last Monday a team of 54 health inspectors in the Western Division have monitored close to 400 shops and supermarkets in the urban and rural areas that were af­fected by the flood.

Food items found to be damaged or unfit for consumption have been safely disposed.

Customers are advised to stop buying any food items that are vis­ibly damaged or spoiled because consuming these items will have serious health implications from food-borne illnesses.

Members of the public are advised to make informed choices and en­sure quality assurance by looking out for proper labelling and check­ing the expiry dates of the products.

Advice is also given to buyers to be aware of the quality of frozen goods that could have been dam­aged because freezers burnt or the food was spoiled by loss of power.

The ministry has advised that any merchant found selling damaged food items that pose health risks to the public will be fined up to mini­mum of $5000 upon prosecution or six months imprisonment.

Families are advised to main­tain good hygiene practices, clean hands, clean kitchens free from in­sects and rodents and maintain the ideal temperature (cold for frozen foods and warm for cooked foods).

Edited by Epineri Vula

Feedback: shratika.naidu@fijisun.com.fj

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