SINGAPORE – Two companies were fined on Wednesday (March 24) for contravening various food laws, with one of them importing more than three tonnes of processed foods illegally.
Arklife Distributors – a processed food importer in the Ubi area – and Shiawase, a food processing company in Sungei Kadut, were fined $7,500 and $6,000 respectively for their offences, said the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) on Wednesday.
Arklife Distributors was fined after being convicted on multiple charges of illegally importing processed food. It brought over more than three tonnes of processed food such as instant noodles and biscuits from Indonesia.
The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) said that on June 25 last year, its officers detected anomalies in the scanned images of a 20-foot container imported by Arklife Distributors that had arrived at the Jurong Scanning Station.
The ICA referred the case to the SFA, whose investigation found that the food contained in 15 pallets was illegally imported. The shipments were then seized.
“Food can only be imported by licensed importers, and every consignment must be declared and accompanied with a valid import permit,” said the SFA. “Illegally imported food products are of unknown sources and poses food safety risk.”
Shiawase was fined for operating an unlicensed cold store. In October last year, SFA officers found meat and seafood stored in an adjacent unit that was not licensed as a cold store.
This happened during an inspection of Shiawase’s food processing establishment.
During a subsequent inspection in February this year, SFA officers discovered that Shiawase had continued to store raw food products in the unlicensed unit.
These products were seized once again. The SFA said that the total amount of food products seized from both inspections was more than 1,800kg.
“Illegal storage of meat or seafood at unlicensed facilities pose food safety risks. In Singapore, all cold stores for meat and seafood products must be licensed, and are required to meet SFA’s requirements and food safety standards,” said the SFA.
“These licensed premises are also routinely inspected by SFA,” it added.
Offenders who store meat and/or fish products illegally are liable on conviction to a maximum fine of $10,000 and/or imprisonment for up to one year.
Offenders who illegally import processed food are liable to a fine of up to $1,000 and in the case of a subsequent conviction, to a fine of up to $2,000.
Join ST’s Telegram channel here and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.
Source: Read Full Article