The Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), has fined Shoprite for selling imported chicken as locally produced ones to unsuspecting customers.
This follows the closure of the meat section of the shop at Accra Mall after investigations revealed that the company thaws imported frozen chicken and labels it as locally produced fresh chicken for sale.
In an interview, a Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the FDA, Akua Amartey, indicated that the company engaged in deception by labeling imported chicken as local chicken.
“It came to our attention that they actually label frozen chicken that they thaw as fresh chicken, and that is against the Public Health Act. ”
Ms. Amartey stated that as a form of deterrent, Shoprite was “given an administrative fine to pay that is going to make it punitive for them not to repeat such an action.”
She further indicated that the meat section will be closed down until Shoprite puts in the necessary regulatory measures to prevent a 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, what documentation comes in, what inspections they are producing, when they receive consignments of fresh chicken; which freezers they will put them in. How they are going to dispose of [the chicken] after the shelf life so that they do not end up freezing them and selling them as fresh chicken. So there are so many things we need to work hand in hand with them on including training their staff.”
Ms. Amartey also indicated that the FDA will visit other branches of Shoprite in a bid to ensure the safety of customers.
“We have locked the Shoprite at the Accra Mall. We are visiting other facilities. We have been to the Junction Mall, where we have locked up their freezers.”