Central Board of Health targets hygiene violations

April 18, 2024 10:34 am

The Central Board of Health is cracking down on food businesses across the country in response to a surge in reports and complaints regarding hygiene practices and food safety.

In collaboration with town and city councils, the Central Board of Health launched a ten-week operation focusing on the Central Division.

Officers from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services’ Food Unit, along with Suva City Council’s Health Department and Suva Health Office, inspected over 200 food establishments, including retail shops, bakeries, takeaway outlets, and supermarkets.

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Following the inspection, 59 notices were issued to food businesses operating without a valid health license, 35 abatement notices issued to establishments operating under unsanitary conditions, requiring corrective actions within a set timeframe and 8 closing orders issued to businesses posing a direct health risk due to severe non-compliance and high-risk practices like potential foodborne illness or Leptospirosis transmission.

The CBoH reminds food business operators of their legal obligation under the Food Safety Act to implement good hygienic practices throughout the food chain, from production and processing to handling, storage, and distribution.

It says failure to comply with these regulations constitutes an offense punishable by prosecution.

Furthermore, the CBoH emphasizes that selling, preparing, or storing food under unsanitary conditions that could compromise its safety is a punishable offense under the Act.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services urges all food business operators to fully adhere to the Food Safety Act and Regulations to safeguard the health and well-being of Fijian citizens.