City Hall Warns Against Banned Preservatives

Phnom Penh Municipality Gov­ern­or Kep Chuktema warned Monday that City Hall will fine or shut down food businesses and restaurants found using banned chemical preservatives such as borax and formalin.

The statement came after a monthly Municipal Commerce Department report that found chemical preservatives in food sold at the city’s markets.

“City Hall has observed the presence of banned chemical substances that can affect human health, such as borax in noodles, fish, beef balls and sausages and formalin in fresh squid and shrimp,” the statement read.

The municipal departments of commerce and industry and local authorities have now set up a committee to control the use of banned chemicals in food in the capital, according to the statement.

“In an attempt to prevent these negative activities that form a deadly hazard to public health, city hall would like to inform you, the food businesses and restaurants that are using chemical substances, that from today on officers will examine eve­ry location,” the statement warned.

“In case authorities find food containing banned substances, business owners will be forced to sign a contract to stop using it.”

Business­es caught using banned preservatives after signing the contract will be fined or shut down, according to the statement.

Kep Chuktema said Monday that authorities are working on mea­sures to educate vendors and customers about the dangers of using dangerous chemical substances, which are used to make food more attractive.

“Customers want their dry fish to have no flies,” he said. “They want something that looks good.”

Municipal Health Department Director Veng Thai said chemicals like borax and formalin can cause cancer and stomach and kidney problems.

“If the sellers use too much of it, they can kill people,” he said.


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