33 warning letters issued to traders found breaching standards in the Food and Safety Act

33 warning letters issued to traders found breaching standards in the Food and Safety Act

By Karishma Kumari
Monday 18/12/2023

33 warning letters have been issued to traders found breaching standards in the Food and Safety Act and all businesses in the food sector are urged to comply with safety standards.

In a joint statement by Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Consumer Council of Fiji they say the FCCC, Consumer Council, Ministry of Health, and Municipal Councils have partnered to conduct a comprehensive joint inspection campaign focused on ensuring the highest standards of food safety across Fiji.

Under this multi-agency effort, 131 inspections have been carried out across Fiji from 1st December till date, including 55 inspections by the FCCC and the Health Ministry, and 95 inspections by the Consumer Council.

They say some major issues identified during these inspections include the sale of expired food products, missing price tags, excessive prices on price-controlled items, discoloured meat, and flies or pests present in food establishments and supermarkets, among other issues.

Consumer Council Chief Executive Officer Seema Shandil says as we are in the midst of the festive season, many consumers will be spending significantly.

She says from past experience, they are aware that some traders exploit the shopping frenzy to hastily profit from consumers.

Shandil says through these inspections, they aim to address these unscrupulous traders and ensure that consumers remain protected.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Co-operatives, Small and Medium Enterprises and Communications, Manoa Kamikamica says the enhanced joint initiative represents a united and robust approach to safeguarding public health as there is a need for increased vigilance, particularly during the festive season.

He says protecting the Fijian people is the highest priority and they will rigorously enforce all regulations and take decisive actions against any violations to guarantee the health and well-being of citizens by employing all available resources to ensure that all traders adhere strictly to the standards outlined in the Food and Safety Act and set a new benchmark in food safety.

FCCC CEO Joel Abraham says by combining their collective resources and diverse expertise, they should be able to address food safety concerns with greater efficiency and precision.

He says they welcome consumer feedback and non-compliance reports.

FCCC has also issued multiple businesses with notices to comply and has emphasised a zero-tolerance policy towards any breaches.

Abraham says food safety is paramount and they will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that all food providers adhere to the strictest safety protocols.

He says noncompliance will be met with stringent actions as per the law and food safety and fair pricing go hand in hand, so they will also be on the lookout for pricing breaches.

The CEO adds as part of their regulatory work, they must consider the price quality path, which involves balancing the cost of goods or services with the quality provided.

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