Only 23 of more than 200 government fresh food markets are fully air-conditioned, it emerged yesterday, amid health concerns about the effect of summer temperatures on raw meat. A caller to Commercial Radio's Teacup in a Storm programme complained on Monday that temperatures at a market in Leung King Estate, Tuen Mun, had reached 39 degrees Celsius - ideal conditions for bacteria to grow on meat. In response, Fred Li Wah-ming, chairman of the Legislative Council's panel on food safety and environmental hygiene, said yesterday there was nothing much the government could do if tenants refused to install air-conditioning. 'All we can do is to ask them to install a refrigerator or a fan. We have also suggested that they use energy-saving light bulbs which don't overheat easily,' Mr Li said. 'But if the meat is not fresh and found to contain bacteria because of the heat, then the government can prosecute the vendors.' The Housing Authority oversees 128 fresh-food markets; only nine have installed air-conditioning. The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department runs 81 fresh-food markets. Of these, 14 are fully air-conditioned and 10 partially air-conditioned. To install central air-conditioning, the authority must have the consent of no less than 50 per cent of the stallholders, while the department must get the consent of more than 85 per cent. A spokeswoman for the Housing Authority said all its markets had ventilation systems although not all had air-conditioning. She said the authority would subsidise stallholders if they were willing to install air-conditioning, but they would each have to pay an extra $400 to $1,000 a month - a fee many vendors did not want to pay. She said that because so many vendors refused to agree to air-conditioning, it could be an indicator that they found the conditions acceptable.