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SFA imposes fines on two women and food manufacturer for food safety lapses

Two women fined S$27,000 each in Singapore for unlicensed cold stores and illegal meat import. A manufacturer fined S$10,000 after an SFA inspection last February revealed severe cockroach infestations

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illegal food sfa
(Photo: SFA)

SINGAPORE: Two women and a food manufacturer were fined in court on Wednesday (24 January) for violating food import and safety regulations, among other offences.

As per a press statement issued by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA), the women, Bui Thi Quyen and Ta Thi Tuyen were fined S$27,000 (US$20,150) each for engaging in illegal activities related to unlicensed cold stores and the importation of meat and seafood products from Vietnam.

On  13 April 2023, SFA officers discovered over 700kg of meat and seafood products in an unlicensed cold store located at 62 Senoko Road.

The seized products, which included processed and raw items such as pork, beef, chicken, fish, and frog, were found to have been imported from unapproved sources and lacked a valid license.

illegal food and storage

(Photo: SFA)

The SFA emphasized the potential food safety risks associated with the illegal storage of meat and seafood at unlicensed facilities.

In Singapore, all cold stores for these products must be licensed and comply with SFA’s requirements and food safety standards.

Those found guilty of unlawfully storing meat and/or seafood products in unlicensed facilities may face a fine not exceeding S$10,000 (US$7,462) and/or imprisonment for up to 12 months.

Meanwhile, individuals involved in the illegal importation of meat or seafood products without a valid license may be subject to a fine not exceeding S$50,000 (US$37,310) and/or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.

For repeat offenders, the penalty may increase to a fine not exceeding S$100,000 (US$74,620) and/or imprisonment for a term not exceeding three years.

Suvai Foods fined $10,000 for multiple violations and cockroach infestations

Suvai Foods, a manufacturer of flour confectionary including chapati, dosa, and idly batters, incurred a S$10,000 (US$7,462) fine for multiple violations on 24 January.

The penalties were imposed under the Sale of Food (Non-Retail Food Business) Regulations and the Sale of Food Act.

During an SFA inspection on 21 February 2023, severe cockroach infestations were discovered throughout Suvai Foods’ premises at 1009 Aljunied Avenue 4, which were found to be poorly maintained.

suvai food

(Photo: SFA)

The food delivery truck was also unclean, with live cockroaches present at the rear.

Additionally, the packing area had been extended without proper approval.

Consequently, the SFA suspended Suvai Foods’ operations from 21 February to 8 March.

The company was directed to address the identified lapses, improve food safety practices, and enhance the cleanliness of its premises.

Following corrective actions, the suspension was lifted on 9 March 2023.

Highlighting the shared responsibility for food safety, the SFA emphasized that contamination risks exist at various stages of the food chain.

While the SFA remains vigilant in enforcing regulatory measures, both the industry and consumers are urged to contribute to food safety.

Food establishments are urged to maintain clean and well-maintained premises, adhering to proper food hygiene and safety requirements.

Failure to comply may result in enforcement action by the SFA, with offenders facing fines not exceeding S$5,000 (US$3,731) and additional fines of up to S$100 (US$74.62) per day for continuing offences post-conviction.

Consumers encountering poor food safety practices are advised to avoid patronizing such establishments and provide feedback at www.sfa.gov.sg/feedback.

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