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NRI supermarket fined $45,000 over meatballs

using sodium nitrite for flavouring, resulting in more than 300 times

Auckland, Aug 9, 2006
Ramesh B. Verma

NRI director and operator, Amit Prakash of Otara supermarket Food World, U & S Chand Investments Limited in south Auckland was sentenced today in the Manukau District Court on charges under Section 11AA of the Food Act, fined $45,000 after high doses of preservatives were found in meatball samples sold in the outlet, thereby endangering the life of a customer.

The meatballs contained the preservative sodium nitrite for flavouring, resulting in more than 300 times the recommended safe level for food.

New Zealand Food Safety Authority (NZFSA) and its partners in protecting public health take breeches of standards and legislation seriously and will take the appropriate action when these are brought to our notice. This case and the fine imposed demonstrate this.

New Zealand has an Excellent reputation for safe food and such incidents are not common, the sentence sends a clear message. All involved in the production, preparation and sale of food are responsible for ensuring the safety and suitability of the food they provide and serve. All food operators should know the relevant sections of the Food Standards Code, Food Hygiene Regulations, local authority by-laws and other applicable legislation. This responsibility is paramount and failures to comply, as this case illustrates, can cause severe health issues.Geoff Allen says that consumers can be confident in the safety of food sold in New Zealand, but that if that have concerns or suspicions they should contact their local council or Public Health Unit.