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JIS News

Yet another imported shipment of food, deemed unfit for consumption, has been confiscated by the Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Division (FSPID) of the Ministry of Industry, Investment and Commerce.

This time, the FSPID has seized some 22.73 metric tonnes of red kidney beans (red peas), valued at more than $2.6 million, imported from Belize by a local distributor. The shipment was found to be contaminated with rodent droppings.

Senior Food Storage Scientist at the FSPID, Tamara Morrison, told JIS News that the contaminated beans, which were packed in 750 bags, were discovered following routine inspection of a container at a storage facility at the Kingston Harbour, where they were being kept. 

Ms. Morrison, who is also Head of the FSPID’s Training and Information Unit, informed that the consignment was detained and samples collected and submitted to the FSPID’s Rodent Biology and Control Laboratory for identification. The results revealed that the contaminants were rodent filth.

“The implications of the findings, including the health risks, were discussed with the consignee, and these formed the basis behind our decision to effect disposal of the commodity. A condemnation order for disposal, in accordance with the Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation (FSPI) Act and Regulations, was subsequently issued,” she informed.

The seizure is the first for 2012 involving red kidney beans and the consignee. It is also the second seizure of contaminated food by the FSPID since the start of the year, coming just over four weeks after the FSPID confiscated and disposed some 1,500 tonnes of paddy rice, valued at approximately $15 million, which was imported from the United States by a local distributor, and found to contain the carcasses of dead frogs and rodents.   

 

By Douglas McIntosh, JIS Reporter