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FEHD crack down on sale of chilled or frozen meat disguised as fresh meat

FEHD Crackdown on Fraudulent Meat Sales in Hong Kong

Hong Kong’s food safety authorities have uncovered a case of suspected frozen meat being sold as fresh, dealing a blow to unscrupulous vendors seeking to profit at the expense of consumer health.

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) raided a licensed fresh provision shop (FPS) in the Queens Hill Shopping Centre in Fanling on Tuesday, seizing approximately 206 kilograms of suspected frozen beef. The shop is now facing potential license revocation and prosecution.

“The selling of chilled or frozen meat disguised as fresh meat breaches the licensing condition and causes food safety problems,” a FEHD spokesman said. “The operation of these profiteers is unfair to other shops that comply with the requirements.”

Under Hong Kong law, the sale of frozen meat as fresh without proper labeling can result in a maximum fine of $50,000 and six months’ imprisonment upon conviction.

The crackdown is part of the FEHD’s ongoing efforts to combat the deceptive practice, which not only cheats consumers but also poses serious health risks. Frozen meat may contain higher levels of preservatives and bacteria if not properly handled.

The department said it will continue conducting regular inspections at licensed FPS and market stalls, responding to complaints and carrying out surprise checks. Businesses found in violation face the prospect of license cancellation or tenancy termination.

“The FEHD will carry out immediate investigations and take appropriate enforcement action” whenever irregularities are detected, the spokesman warned.

The latest bust underscores the city’s determination to maintain the integrity of its food supply and protect the public from unscrupulous vendors seeking to line their pockets at the expense of consumer trust.