Around 100 boxes of rotting meat have been destroyed in Ha'apai after arriving in unrefrigerated containers on a ferry from Tonga's capital.
Matangi Tonga reported 62 boxes of chicken, seven boxes of salted beef, 28 boxes of hot dogs, one box of chicken wings and two boxes of mutton flaps were found to be unfit for consumption and were destroyed by government authorities.
The Head of the Food Division, Metuisela Falesiva, said officials were in Ha'apai for a National Food Safety campaign when inspections discovered the rotting chicken and meat.
Mr Falesiva said the contaminated food was shipped in a few containers on the ferry last week.
The cargo left Tongatapu and travelled to Vava'u, where it was delayed due to bad weather and then finally shipped to Ha'apai.
Mr Falesiva said the ministry does not condone sub par standards, regardless of how it came to be in that unfit state.
He said retailers need to ensure proper storage, factor in poor weather and possible shipping delays so that meat is packaged and stored properly.