23 Sep 2015

Expired chicken taken off Tonga's shelves

1:26 pm on 23 September 2015

Repackaged chicken is being taken off the shelves in Tonga after a random inspection found poultry products which expired in 2012 were being sold.

Viliame Manu, from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food, says the 800 cartons of expired frozen chicken had been imported from the United States.

Dr Viliame says the government has put out an emergency order to take all repackaged chicken off the shelves, and has set up a taskforce to deal with the issue.

"The way it came in, it was found in a 40 foot container. The front half was a carton of poultry meat, it was supposed to be expired next year. But the carton at the back was all the old, expired products. So we are looking at ways now that every container that comes through the wharf will be checked at the wharf, right through to the back."

Viliame Manu says the taskforce is working with the police to work out where all the cartons of expired poultry ended up.

Dr Manu says whole cartons of chicken, which have been inspected and properly labelled, are still available for purchase.