Recent laboratory test results from the Consumer Protection, Competition and Fraud Repression Directorate-General (CCF) indicated that 22 of 139 samples collected in July were non-compliant with technical regulations.

Among the 22 samples were fish sauce, soy sauce, chilli sauce, salt, palm sugar, white and herbal wine, beef and fish, according to the CCF.

CCF director-general Phan Oun noted that the manufacturers of some of the non-compliant products would be called in for questioning and verification.

“If necessary, we may instruct these manufacturers to stop production and distribution, as a measure to safeguard public health,” he said.

“Unsafe food consumption severely impacts people’s health, economic interests and society at large.

“Our officials have been inspecting food products nationwide to prevent the circulation of unsafe goods,” he said.

Oun advised businesses and consumers alike to exercise caution when choosing products, while also warning sellers that they would be held accountable if they were caught selling non-compliant goods.

To bolster its efforts, the CCF, which operates under the Ministry of Commerce, has established 16 small-scale and mobile labs in the capital and provinces, with two more currently under construction in Preah Sihanouk and Banteay Meanchey provinces.

“These small-scale labs and mobile lab vehicles are crucial for bringing quality analysis services closer to rural and urban markets.

“They facilitate the prompt identification of non-compliant products, corroborate mobile lab findings and serve as administrative offices for branch staff,” said Oun.

Recent UNICEF reports indicate a concerning dietary trend among children in East Asia and the Pacific, including Cambodia, characterised by poor quality food intake.

The report showed that over one third of teenagers consume at least one sugary drink each day and that more than half eat fast food at least once a day, while fewer than half consume an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables.

A significant factor contributing to this unhealthy trend is the widespread presence of advertisements promoting poor nutrition, especially online and within close proximity of educational institutions.

In July alone, the CCF collaborated with customs officials to seize and destroy 14,575kg of frozen meat, with the owners called in for questioning and issued fines.

The report, seen by The Post on August 1, also detailed how CCF officials undertook 33 inspections across markets and warehouses.

These checks resulted in the disposal of expired products amounting to 63.77 litres and 449kg.

In addition, officials inspected 42 petrol stations, and penalties were imposed on two of them for dishonest practices.

Hou Kroeun, deputy country director at Helen Keller International Cambodia, highlighted the importance of such measures in a time when food safety is a global concern.

He urged authorities to increase the frequency of safety inspections across the country.