$50,000 worth of thawed meat weighing 40,000 kilograms was destroyed at the Naboro landfill last week by the Food Unit of the Ministry of Health.
These damaged frozen goods were mostly lamb neck and chops from supermarkets in and around Suva.
And when this edition went to press last night, another two 20ft containers weighing between 18,000 to 20,000 kilograms were being prepared to be transported to the Naboro Landfill for dumping.
Head of the unit at the ministry Jope Tamani said the teams were still conducting spot checks and revisits to major supermarkets around the country to ensure traders were honest to remove damaged goods off the shelves. He said this operation was likely to continue as long as power cuts existed and that businesses proved they could trade honestly.
"A lot depends on the confidence we have on shop owners to be honest to the customers and not place damaged meat back on the shelves when they are not good," Mr Tamani told the Fiji Times.
"As it is, we have come across some supermarkets who are selling lamb cut pieces and we can see that they have defrosted for over two days," he said.
Mr Tamani said frozen goods kept in freezers during a power cut should be destroyed after two days because it would be by then unsafe to consume.
He said there were some positive indications however, on the part of some businesses that were honest to contact the food unit to inform them of thawed meat. He said for shops that experienced power cuts, the food unit was doing a thorough check in those shops, and are even going through delivery vouchers to determine the time of delivery compared to the time of the power cut.
"We need to carry out thorough checks and revisit some supermarkets we had visited because we need to be sure all damaged goods are destroyed as there is always an opportunity for shop owners to place damaged goods back on the shelves," Mr Tamani said.
"Our teams are still out doing duty checks at some of the major supermarkets," he said.
The food unit teams were deployed to various centres, assisted by health inspectors in divisions around the country.
Source: newsroom - meattradenewsdaily.co.uk
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