Fresh Choice Avenue fined $10,000 for illegal imports of fresh and processed vegetables

Fruits and vegetables can only be imported into Singapore by licensed importers. PHOTO: SINGAPORE FOOD AGENCY (SFA)/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE - Food importer Fresh Choice Avenue was fined $10,000 for bringing in fresh and processed vegetables illegally, said the Singapore Food Agency on Wednesday (Dec 1).

SFA seized 349.6kg of undeclared and underdeclared fresh fruits and vegetables on Sept 2 last year, as well as another 304.5kg of undeclared processed vegetables from Malaysia.

Fruits and vegetables can be imported into Singapore only by licensed importers, and every consignment must be declared and accompanied with a valid import permit.

Illegally imported vegetables of unknown sources can pose a food safety risk such as containing an unregulated or high level of pesticides.

In a separate release on Wednesday, SFA said that Korean food distributor Jin Global was fined $3,000 for the operation of an unlicensed cold store.

Its director Song Sung Hyuk was also fined $3,000 "for failing to exercise due diligence to prevent the offence from being committed".

In December last year, SFA officers found that Jin Global had stored approximately 5,490.6kg of frozen meat and seafood products and processed food products such as meat dumplings, frozen octopus and processed fish in an unlicensed cold store.

The products were seized by SFA.

"Illegal storage of meat and seafood at unlicensed facilities poses a food safety risk.

"Under the Sale of Food Act and the Wholesome Meat and Fish Act, cold stores for meat and seafood products can be operated only with a valid licence.

"These licensed premises are also routinely inspected by SFA," it added.

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