Rabu, 25 Januari 2012


STORY: Zainabu Issah

FINATRADE Group Company Limited has called on the Food and Drugs Board (FDB)  to be fair to Sucatrade, a member of the group, in relation to the destruction of 1,000 chicken parts.
The call is in relation to a statement signed by the acting Deputy Chief Executive (Food) of the board, Mr John Odame-Darkwah, stating that through its routine monitoring activities, the FDB found that Sucatrade had unwholesome chicken parts stored in its bulk cold storage facility.
The group claimed that it was unfair to lump together the chicken parts and torn cartons in cake form which were found packed discretely on the bare floor and against the walls of the cold room in two large heaps.
The FDB claimed that the storage of the said chicken parts under those unhygienic conditions contravened Part 1 Section 7 of the FDB Law, which states, “Any person who sells, prepares, packages, conveys, stores or displays for sale any food under insanitary conditions commits an offence.”
It noted that results of laboratory analysis of the chicken parts indicated heavy contamination by some bacteria whose heavy presence rendered the chicken parts unwholesome for human consumption.
The lawyer for FINATRADE, Mr Robert  Nii Arday Clegg, who made the appeal for fairness, noted that in the last quarter of 2011, Sucatrade imported some chicken products into the country from Tyson Foods in the United States of America (USA), adding that some of the  products which had been packaged got damaged in the process of transporting them to the warehouse.
The damaged cartons were duly packed together at a very conspicuous part of the warehouse where anyone could notice them upon entry.
“This is not the attitude of a company that intends to hide damaged goods, as the FDB stated in its press release,” he said.
He added that the cold chain was not broken and the products in the damaged boxes were set aside in the open part at the customs bonded warehouse, where officials of the Customs Division had keys and control, and not a single carton had been sold or was intended to be sold to customers.
However, the FDB’s press release, which made reference to 1,000 cartons, representing 0.4 per cent of the imported chicken, said the 1,000 cartons were part of a consignment of 250,000 cartons from the same source, Tyson foods.
Also, the 1,000 cartons which had been set aside as described were packed away from the huge volumes that were in unbroken packaging and hence not a single piece of the chicken in the 1,000 cartons group had been sold to the general public.
Mr Clegg stated further that the FDB’s press release omitted that the officers who visited the said warehouse knew about the unbroken cartons which far exceeded the ones in damaged packaging.
Additionally, on December 13, 2011, Sucatrade wrote to the FDB requesting it to appprove and supervise the repackaging of the products with the damaged boxes, for which the FDB went back to the warehouse, took three single pieces of chicken parts out of the carton from the 1,000 group (a carton being 10kg containing about 17 to 20 pieces) and took a whole 10kg carton from the 249,000 group for laboratory tests.
On January 12, 2012, a group of persons claiming to be officials from the FDB visited the warehouse again, that time with the mission to destroy chicken products which they said were wholesome.
The officers threatened to forcibly enter the warehouse if they were denied access but the Sucatrade staff insisted on their rights and demanded that the proper documentation be produced.
Mr Clegg, therefore, urged the FDB to set the records straight and put out a new press release telling the story as it was to hopefully redeem the image of Sucatrade, which had been unfairly tarnished.
He also assured customers and consumers that Sucatrade would continue to put up for sale only top quality food products it had come to be identified with.

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