At least 27 brands of canned mackerel on the market have been found to be contaminated with threadworms, the Food and Drugs Monitoring Agency (BPOM) revealed on Wednesday amid reports of worm-tainted canned foods circulating in several regions in the country.
“16 brands are imported while the remaining 11 are local products,” BPOM head Penny Lukito said on Wednesday as reported by tempo.co.
Several brands of canned fish proven to be tainted with parasitic worms were also put on display such as ABC, Pronas, Botan, King’s Fisher and Gaga.
The finding was a result of a laboratory test of 541 fish samples from 66 brands of canned fish distributed across the country. The test was part of a follow up of canned mackerel sold under the imported brand Farmer Jack found distributed across Pekanbaru, Riau, which tested positive for parasites on March. 20.
A team at the agency also traced the origin of the contaminated products and the water areas from which the importers took the fish.
“We found that they had come from Chinese waters and the surrounding area,” Penny said adding that BPOM had also ordered for the import process to be halted until there had been more in-depth audits and sample tests of the products.
As for local products, the agency also stopped imports of the ingredients used for the canned mackerel.
The agency also issued an instruction to all producers and importers of the confirmed contaminated products to withdraw their products from the market, she said, adding that BPOM had also forged a cooperation with the Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Ministry to inform the Chinese government about the matter.
The agency would also closely monitor the withdrawal and termination of the worm-tainted products to make sure that none were left in the market to be consumed by public. More sample tests would also be conducted as part of efforts to ensure food safety for circulated products. (rin)