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FEHD strives to combat illegal sale of chilled poultry and meat
     A spokesman for the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) today (March 30) said that the FEHD has all along been committed to combating illegal sale of chilled poultry and meat. Apart from performing regular inspections, the FEHD also conducts blitz inspections and steps up enforcement actions across the territory, including summon actions against or immediate arrest of offenders and seizure of food concerned. In the latest blitz operation conducted between March 21 and 26, the FEHD officers instituted five summonses and one arrest against persons suspected of operating unlicensed fresh provision shops (FPSs), and seized about 24 kilograms of chilled poultry and 12kg of chilled mutton which have been destroyed immediately.

     During the operation, the FEHD officers inspected some 2 500 FPSs/food premises, some 5 400 market stalls, some 800 licensed hawker fixed pitches and some 50 target locations in different districts with a view to combating illegal sale of chilled poultry and meat.

     Apart from prosecutions, the FEHD officers also issued 12 verbal warnings to licensees of FPSs for breaching relevant licensing conditions, including improper storage temperature of chilled poultry and meat, refrigerator overloaded, failing to produce delivery note/invoice for approved sources, or notice of "Imported Chilled Poultry for Sale" not being properly displayed. Moreover, four verbal warnings were issued to the market tenants concerned for not complying with the tenancy condition of selling imported chilled poultry in intact pre-packed form. All the irregularities were subsequently found to have been rectified during follow-up inspections.

     Under the Food Business Regulation (Cap. 132X), the premises for carrying on the business involving the sale of chilled poultry or meat must obtain an FPS licence. Save with the permission in writing of the FEHD, no person shall sell chilled poultry or meat, which is classified as restricted food under the Regulation. Operating an FPS without licence, not operating a licensed FPS in accordance with the Regulation, or selling restricted food (including chilled poultry and meat) without written permission commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a maximum fine of $50,000 and imprisonment for six months, and an additional daily fine of $900.

     Licensed FPSs and the FEHD's market stalls selling chilled poultry or meat from sources other than those approved by the Director of Food and Environment Hygiene, or failing to store chilled poultry or meat in suitable refrigeration equipment, constitute a breach of the licensing conditions or market stall tenancy agreement. The licences of FPSs breaching the licensing conditions may be cancelled, while the tenancies of market stalls breaching the tenancy agreements may be terminated. As chilled poultry and meat sold illegally may not be compliant with the regulatory requirements for handling, storage and temperature control, etc, there may be potential implications on food safety.

     The spokesman reminded members of the public to patronise licensed FPSs or market stalls with food from approved sources. The FEHD will continue to monitor closely the actual situation. In addition to regular inspections, investigation of suspected non-compliant cases and follow-up on complaints received, blitz inspections and enforcement operations will be arranged on an as-needed basis and according to intelligence collected to combat irregularities.
Ends/Thursday, March 30, 2023
Issued at HKT 12:00
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