A customer picks up lunch from the Ready 2 Go section at Massy Stores, Trincity, on Saturday.

Commissioner of Police Gary Griffith says the sale of pre-packaged food at supermarkets and other establishments deemed essential at this time is legal.

He explained that once no cooking is done at the establishment, there is no breach of the Public Health Regulations.

In a post on the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Facebook page, Commissioner Griffith sought to clarify the issue.

He described it as a “misconception in the public domain that certain businesses are illegally selling pre-packaged food which according to them, is in contravention of the latest Public Health Regulations.”

He stated that he has received calls, text and WhatsApp messages and videos from concerned members of the public stating that certain business establishments have been selling food to members of the public.

Commissioner Griffith said he is reminding the public about the Public Health Regulations which state that the Minister of Health has authorized that the following businesses are allowed to open – “supermarkets, groceries, markets, greengrocers, bakeries, poultry depots, fish stalls or shops, fruit stalls or shops, vegetable stalls or shops, parlours, corner shops, and pharmacies, provided that not more than 50 per cent of the establishment’s ordinary retail capacity is surpassed.”

The Commissioner added that some of the businesses listed sell pre-packaged food and are allowed to continue to do so.

He said they are not allowed to cook at the establishment and sell the food over the counter, as what happened last week at a grocery in Barataria, which was ordered shut by the TTPS.