Singapore supplier admits storing 10-year-old seafood

The skyline of Singapore.

On 1 March, 2023 Tan Poh Gwee of Singapore, who traded product as Ed's Frozen Enterprise, pled guilty to illegally storying approximately 20,000 kilograms of meat and seafood products – such as slipper lobster, squid, and moldy salmon. More than 1,000 kilograms of the stored food expired in June 2013. He is to be sentenced 22 March. 

Gwee is the former owner of a steamboat restaurant in Singapore called Chong Qing Steamboat. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Gwee had to close his restaurants, which is how he accumulated the large volumes of meat and seafood. When businesses and restaurants reopened, Gwee learned the products had expired “would have disposed of them,” his lawyer said, according to the Strait Times.

Gwee, admitted to two charges of flouting the Wholesome Meat and Fish Act.  

Gwee did not apply for a cold store license and had been storing 19,483 kilograms of meat and seafood products. He received feedback over a live stream in 2021 saying the food he had been selling was not fresh, and was discovered by the Singapore Food Agency.

His lawyer added his refrigerated truck had not been in use for a year and a half and should not be a part of his penalty.

He was then alerted he needed a license to continue operating a cold store. The authorities performed a surprise check in August 2021, finding that despite not applying for a license he was storing the meat and seafood. 

Gwee told the court he did in fact apply but was unable to obtain it before the Singapore Food Agency check in August 2021. He also said he accumulated unsold food, and was unable to pay rent leading him to bankruptcy. Gwee faces another charge under the Wholesome Meat and Fish (Transportation of Meat Products) Rules after transporting meat from Enterprise One in Kaki Bukit Road in an unclean vehicle, deemed such because it was not equipped with working refrigeration compartments and had live cockroaches. 

There have not been reports of people suffering illness from consuming the products. 

Photo courtesy of Travelpixs/Shutterstock


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