Fiji chicken egg vendors must refrigerate their products at the municipal markets where they're sold or face fines and potential jail time, said the country's Ministry of Health amid complaints of rotten eggs being unwittingly purchased by consumers.
The directive was already in place per the Food Safety Act of 2003, but was not being enforced. Vendors say they cannot afford the cost of a refrigeration unit, or the maintenance that comes with it. "It costs $40,000 to buy the appropriate unit and a monthly electricity bill of around $1,000," said egg seller Rakesh Kumar.
According to officials, vendors have seven days to comply with the order and improve their egg storage. According to the Food Safety Act of 2003, penalties for noncompliance include a $5,000 fine or two years in jail for a first-time offender, and $10,000 or five years in jail for a second-time or further offender.