Restaurants Under Spotlight for Violating Food Safety Standards
August 3, 2022
Certain food establishments are willfully flouting food safety laws and standards; with issues such as contaminated food, not wearing PPEs, dirty surrounding and pest infestation becoming a common sight in restaurants. These issues were evident during the latest string of market surveillance coupled with complaints received by the Consumer Council of Fiji (CCoF).
In a recent case lodged at the Council, a consumer purchased chicken soup from a restaurant and noticed maggots upon opening the container. Whilst the restaurant has provided redress upon the Council’s intervention, the fact that food was infested with maggots and was even sold to the consumer cannot be taken lightly. In another case, a consumer purchased chicken wrap and noticed a dead cockroach inside the warp.
CCoF Chief Executive Officer Ms Seema Shandil says that while legislative frameworks exist to deter such practices, some food establishments continue to defy regulations and infringe upon the rights of consumers; placing their health at risk in the process.
“The presence of maggots and cockroaches in meals is absolutely alarming and shows the level of negligence, carelessness and money-making attitude of certain food establishments. Compromise in food safety will not be accepted and food establishments need to get their acts straight right away,” added Ms Shandil.
The CCoF has alerted Municipal Council’s and Ministry of Health about these cases and a collaborative approach between these organizations will be used to address issues discovered.
Whilst the Council will continue with its market surveillance program, consumers are urged to be vigilant and report any unethical and illegal practices they observe in food establishments. Consumers can do this by calling the toll-free number 155 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, consumers can lodge complaint using the Consumer Council of Fiji App.