Hefty fine awaits hawkers selling expired food

INSPECTION ROUND: The enforcement team at a supermarket in the city.

MIRI: Hawkers stand to face a hefty fine of RM20,000 for selling expired food.

Those who fail to pay could be jailed not exceeding two years, warned the Health Department’s Food Safety & Quality Unit senior assistant environmental health officer Simon Emang yesterday.

He sought their understanding and cooperation to comply with the department’s rules and regulations, and not sell expired items to avoid the penalty and complications.

“This is an offence we view seriously,” he warned.

Simon was asked by The Borneo Post their action against hawkers selling expired and packed food like fried bean curd cubes in plastic bags, ‘nasi lemak’, fried noodles and so forth.

Recently a consumer bought fried bean curd cubes from a wet market in Lutong that were covered in black fungus.

She returned them to the operator who refunded the RM1.20 she paid.

Following the complaint, Simon and his enforcement team inspected the market concerned on Monday.

They found two packets of fried bean curd cubes at two different stalls.

“One packet contained expired cubes covered with fungus but cubes in the other packet were still fresh.

“The packages were not labelled as required under the Food Regulations 1985,” Simon revealed.

Simon said the inspection was part of ‘2012 Ops Chinese New Year’ which kicked off from the wet market in Lutong.

They would also inspect other wet markets and food outlets including the ‘Tamu’ (integrated market) at the Emart Commercial Centre in Permyjaya, Tudan and similar ones in the city centre.

This was to ensure operators adhere to the Health Department’s requirements or face the music for infringement, he warned.

“Public interest and health are paramount so our inspections on the ground are meant to safeguard them,” Simon said.

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