Tinned fish in Tanna relief packages appear to be contaminated

Authorities in Vanuatu have begun confiscating tinned fish that was distributed as relief supplies to victims of the ash fall on Tanna.

There are concerns that the fish contents in the cans are contaminated.

The Secretary General of the TAFEA Provincial Government Council, Joe Iautim said the fish in some cans appeared to be no longer fresh.

Mr Iautim said that out of 80 cartons of a particular brand of tinned fish sent to Tanna, 60 have already been distributed with 20 cartons still in storage.

He said they have discovered that some of them in storage are also already contaminated. They have been removed and destroyed.

Members of the communities in east and southeast Tanna who received the tinned fish are advised not to eat it.

In a statement issued yesterday, NDMO apologized to the affected communities and assured them that the contaminated tinned fish will be replaced soon.

NDMO confirmed it purchased the canned fish from a Chinese shop in Port Vila.

It conveyed that authorities are working closely to collect back those contaminated tinned fish to the Provincial Education Operation Center (PEOC) and will ensure those affected will be given medical treatment.

Authorities must not allow this to happen again in the future, said NDMO.