GHANA – Shoprite Supermarket at the Accra mall in Ghana has been fined by the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) , for false labelling of imported frozen chicken as locally produced fresh chicken and selling it to consumers, which is against the public health act.

 The FDA had earlier received reports of the ill practice and closed the meat section of the supermarket after rigorous inspections which affirmed the claims.

According to the FDA, the practice by Shoprite apart from being fraudulent also has detrimental health implications.

The Deputy Chief Executive of the FDA, Akua Amartey, has stated that it is against regulations to thaw a frozen product and then put it back into the freezer for it to freeze.

This is because once products are thawed at certain temperatures, they provide an ambient environment for micro-organisms to brew and produce toxins.

“Most people who patronize these products think they’ve bought fresh chicken, some of them will definitely also freeze, and you know what happens when products are thawed at certain temperatures. Micro-organisms start brewing in them, and they produce toxins,” she expounded.

These toxins when consumed can result in foodborne intoxications.

Meanwhile, the meat section of the retail shop is to remain closed, until Shoprite puts in the necessary regulatory measures to prevent the recurrence of such a situation.

“They must decide to sell frozen chicken as frozen chicken. If they want to sell fresh chicken, then they should let us know which farms they are getting the fresh chicken from,” she said.

The Deputy Chief Executive has declared that any shop that embarks on such a venture needs to provide the documentation, inspection mechanisms in the production of the meat, date to receive consignments of fresh chicken, as well as the freezers in which they will store them.

Ms. Amartey has also noted that the sellers must provide details on expired products disposal mechanisms so that they do not end up freezing them and selling them as fresh chicken.

According to the Ghana report, the regulatory body had paid a visit to the Junction Mall and other retail markets for further investigations to ensure consumer safety.

Food outlets crackdown in Egypt

Meanwhile food safety inspections in Ras Gharib and Qusair have left 33 food establishments with violations and 12 others shut down.

Food control authorities have inspected a total of 105 places and pulled 445 kilos of foodstuffs and 20 liters of juices unfit for human consumption in the Red Sea Governorate.

As stated by Egypt Independent, the inspectors have also taken 168 samples of food for analysis.

The undersecretary of the Ministry of Health in the Red Sea, Tamer Marei has ordered stricter scrutiny on markets and food outlets.

She has instructed Nermine Nagy, Director General of Preventive Medicine, and Ahmed Toghan, Director of the Food Control Department, to launch thorough inspection campaigns in all cities of the governorate.

Marei affirmed the continuation of the crackdowns to preserve the public health of the citizens.