20 Feb 2014

Reports canned fish sent to Tonga cyclone victims unfit to eat

7:15 pm on 20 February 2014

The Tonga Ministry of Health is investigating complaints from cyclone victims on Ha'apai about the quality of canned fish sent to them.

The food items were distributed by the National Emergency Management Committee to families affected by Tropical Cyclone Ian last month.

Radio Tonga reports callers to its station have complained the fish was not fit to eat.

The director of the National Emergency Management Office, Leveni 'Aho, says he had also received complaints and had had the fish tested by the Ministry of Health.

Mr. 'Aho says 15-thousand cans were distributed in the cyclone zone from the end of January until February the 5th.

He says the items, which had been purchased in Nuku'alofa, had an expiry date of June this year.

Mr 'Aho says the fish may have been affected by being left in the sun for too long.

He says it is also thought the cans may have had contact with seawater during shipment to Ha'apai.