CAC Advises Consumers to be Vigilant when Purchasing Rice

Photo: Michael Sloley Chief Executive Officer of the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC), Dolsie Allen (right), addresses a press conference at the Jamaica Customs Agency’s (JCA) Newport East headquarters in Kingston on December 12. Director of the Contraband Enforcement Team at the JCA, Albert Anderson, looks on.

Story Highlights

  • Chief Executive Officer of the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC), Dolsie Allen, is advising members of the public to be vigilant when purchasing rice during the festive season.
  • She said consumers should only buy from reputable shops and supermarkets and they should retain their receipts as proof of purchase.=[';[p']
  • Samples are to be taken of the rice from the eight countries from which Jamaica imports as well as from local shops and supermarkets. The countries are Trinidad and Tobago, Vietnam, Thailand, China, Guyana, India, the United States of America and Suriname.

Chief Executive Officer of the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC), Dolsie Allen, is advising members of the public to be vigilant when purchasing rice during the festive season.

She said consumers should only buy from reputable shops and supermarkets and they should retain their receipts as proof of purchase.

Mrs. Allen was addressing a press conference at the Jamaica Customs Agency (JCA) at Newport East, Kingston, yesterday (December 12), which was called in light of reports of plastic or fake rice entering the local market.

“Any consumer out there who may have purchased this suspect rice should return the rice to where it was purchased, along with your receipt, and claim for your funds in the event it was found to be contaminated rice,” the CAC CEO urged.

She further advised members of the public to report to the agency the establishment from which the rice was purchased, so that the regulatory authorities can conduct the necessary tests.

Meanwhile, the JCA reports that it has temporarily ceased the clearance of rice shipments to allow for testing.

The decision was made in conjunction with regulatory agencies such as the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ), CAC, Ministry of Health, and the Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Division in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries.

Director of the Contraband Enforcement Team at the JCA, Albert Anderson, said samples of rice, which have been collected as part of investigations launched into the matter, will be tested by the BSJ.

“Follow-up action will be taken if it’s found that it is indeed the plastic rice,” he said.

Samples are to be taken of the rice from the eight countries from which Jamaica imports as well as from local shops and supermarkets. The countries are Trinidad and Tobago, Vietnam, Thailand, China, Guyana, India, the United States of America and Suriname.

The BSJ will be conducting the tests, which include burn, infrared, scan and a moisture-content test.

Director of the National Compliance and Regulatory Authority (NCRA), Orine Henry, said the infrared scan test “is to detect if there is anything in the rice that is not authentic that should not be there”.

“The turnaround time for the testing could be approximately 72 hours,” she indicated.

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