As the nation comes to term with the aftermath of Tropical Depression TD04F, the Consumer Council of Fiji is urging traders to exercise a sense of responsibility by refraining from selling food and other perishable items which have gone bad due to the recent floods experienced by certain parts of the country.
The Council is issuing a stern warning on supermarkets and food stores to do the right thing by destroying food items and meat that have been adversely affected due to power outage and flood waters. Frozen food such as chicken, meat, frozen veggies and dairy products could have thawed as a result of power cuts during the strong winds. Thus, to sell them to the needy and flood victims, is highly unethical and unwarranted.
Public health safety is paramount and traders/retailers must take the lead role in disposing off affected food and meat products. They need to ensure that such items are out of reach of scavengers or those who may want to take advantage of the situation.
Traders who attempt to profit from the misery of others during these times will not be tolerated. The Council will not hesitate to report the unscrupulous traders to the Food Safety Unit under the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and the Fiji Commerce Commission.
The Council is also reminding consumers not to be lured into buying food items up for very low prices during this time. Consumers are advised to avoid purchasing thawed products. If the prices look too good to be true, walk away from that supermarket.
If food in a supermarket freezer is soft despite supermarket owners putting their freezer on again, consumers should avoid purchasing them.
The supermarkets and the butcheries will be monitored. In addition, the Council is requesting consumers to report any incidents of thawed or rotten food, meat, dairy or other products, to the Council and Fiji Commerce Commission or the Food Safety Unit.
We are also calling on the Municipal Councils to step up in their respective areas with their health inspectors joining forces with Ministry of Health and Medical Services to keep a tab on the sale of bad and rotten food items.