Health inspectors from the City of Windhoek confiscated 31 boxes containing 360 rotten eggs from shops plying their trade in the Okuryangava area, during a routine inspection yesterday morning.
The inspectors also sealed three deep freezers containing chicken that had passed its sell-by date from Alex, a matchbox shop stocked with packets of chips almost reaching the roof, three deep freezers and an entrance for two customers at a time.
The shop owner, a Zimbabwean national Alexander Mucheuki, said the poultry farm increased its prices for eggs last month and he sells according to the farm price. He said he used to sell a carton of 30 small-sized eggs for N$29, but he increased the price to N$30.
Mucheuki said his customers were complaining that the eggs are small and dirty, that’s why they stay longer. “Before it was cheaper and we sold fast,” said Mucheuki.
He said with eggs one will not know that they are rotten and that he had not been informed by any of his customers that the eggs were beyond their sell-by date.
Mucheuki said it was the first time health inspectors had confiscated his goods and they came without any prior warning.
About the chicken, Mucheuki said the deep freezers were broken and he did not see to them on time and when he did the chicken was already rotten. “We are not selling the chicken, you can see for yourself … that it is frozen,” he said pointing to the frozen chicken in the freezer.
He further said the health inspectors gave him advice such as not to buy a lot of stock that will not finish on time. He said he was also told to keep his stock and shop clean.
City of Windhoek public relations officer Lydia Amutenya said one of the issues they encounter is that business owners operate differently from what they have applied for.
She said that for instance someone might have applied for an office, but you find the person conducting a different business on the premises.
A statement sent by Amutenya earlier said the City of Windhoek health services division was embarking on a business registration compliance project to ensure that all business owners and the general public in Windhoek are informed about the importance of registering a business, as well as the consequence of operating a business illegally.
The project started on August 5 and will run up to October.
Amutenya said major problems they encountered during the operation, among others, are poor housekeeping, poor ventilation, pest infestation, food handlers not having hygienic gear and illegal business operations, and businesses that are not registered with the City of Windhoek.
Amutenya said items like chicken, eggs, dirty utensils and materials used during food preparation have been confiscated since the beginning of the operation.
“The items are detained and then disposed of safely at the municipal landfill site under the supervision of the environmental health practitioners,” she said.