Hong Kong cracks down on chilled, frozen meat sold as fresh meat

323 kg of suspected chilled or frozen beef seized
calendar icon 11 September 2023
clock icon 2 minute read

Hong Kong's Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) has reiterated its commitment to crack down on the sale of chilled or frozen meat disguised as fresh meat. On September 5, the authorities recently raided a licensed fresh provision shop (FPS) in Tai Po District suspected of selling chilled or frozen meat as fresh meat in an operation.

During the operation, FEHD officers raided a licensed FPS in Tai Wo Estate Market, Tai Po, and marked and sealed about 323 kilograms of suspected chilled or frozen beef for further investigation. A beef sample was also collected for testing for preservatives. Prosecution will be taken out if sufficient evidence is collected. The licensee of the FPS is suspected of breaching the licensing condition for the display and sale of frozen meat as fresh meat, and the FEHD is proceeding with the cancellation of the FPS's licence.

A verbal warning was also given for non-compliance with the relevant licensing condition for failing to provide delivery notes for inspection.

"Selling of chilled or frozen meat disguised as fresh meat breaches the licensing condition and causes food safety problems," an FEHD spokesperson said. "Also, the operation of these profiteers is unfair to other shops that comply with the requirements."

"Anyone selling chilled meat or frozen meat without permission commits an offence and is liable to a maximum fine of $50,000 and six months' imprisonment on conviction," the spokesperson added. "The department will continue to conduct regular inspections at licensed FPSs and market meat stalls, and will actively handle the complaints received. In detecting any irregularities, the FEHD will carry out immediate investigations and take appropriate enforcement actions. In addition, the FEHD also proactively investigates suspected violations from time to time, and conducts surprise inspections and enforcement action as necessary. If there is sufficient evidence, prosecutions will be initiated and follow-up action will be taken against the breach of licensing conditions or tenancy agreements. The licences of FPSs breaching the licensing conditions may be cancelled, while the tenancies of market meat stalls breaching the tenancy agreements may be terminated."

The spokesperson stressed that the FEHD is very concerned about the situation, and has been committed to combating the sale of chilled or frozen meat disguised as fresh meat by taking stringent enforcement actions against the violations.

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