The Consumer Council of Fiji is issuing a stern warning to supermarkets and food retailers to exercise a sense of responsibility by refraining from selling goods that have been damaged by floodwaters.
Frozen food such as meat and dairy products could have thawed as a result of floods from the recent bouts of heavy rain affecting the country. The floods and rainwater may also have wet and damaged items. Thus, to sell them to consumers and flood victims, is highly unethical.
The Council will not hesitate to report unscrupulous traders to the Food Safety Unit under the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and the Fijian Competition and Consumer Commission.
The Council also notes that public health safety is paramount and traders/retailers must take the lead role in disposing off affected food and meat products. When disposed, traders need to ensure that such items are out of reach of scavengers or those who may seek to reuse them.
The Council is also advising consumers to ensure they thoroughly check all items they purchase
especially if the trader operates in an area that was affected by flood waters. Consumers must be wary of deals that are too good to be true as traders may use this tactic to sell their flood affected goods. Consumers are also reminded to avoid purchasing thawed meat and items that look to have been damaged by floodwaters.
The Council is requesting consumers to report any incidents of thawed or rotten food, meat, dairy or other damaged products on sale in supermarkets to the National Consumer Helpline on toll free number 155. The Council also urges consumers to take pictures of these items and send them to the Council via the Consumer Council of Fiji Facebook page