KINGSTON, Jamaica, Mar 2, (CMC) – Jamaica has detained nearly 50 metric tonnes of rice that had been imported from Suriname, after it claimed that the commodity was contaminated with rodent faeces.
The Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Division (FSPID) of the Industry, Investment and Commerce Ministry, said, the rice, valued over J$4.6 million (One Jamaica dollar =US$0.008 cents) was found to be contaminated, following tests conducted at the FSPID’s Rodent Biology and Control Laboratory .
Acting deputy food storage officer, Tamara Morrison, said, on February 8 and 9, the FSPID conducted inspections of two 20-ft. containers of long grain white rice.
She said, they “were packed in 1,000 (45-kilogramme) bags, at the importer’s storage facility in Montego Bay where the commodity, which was shipped from Suriname for local distribution, was being kept”.
Morrison said, that the contamination was determined to have occurred prior to the arrival of the rice, and further indicated, that this was the first time that rice imported by that consignee was found with contaminants.
She said, that the implications of the findings, including health risks, were discussed with the importer, adding, that “these factors formed the basis for our decision to dispose 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. Arrangements are now being made to dispose of the rice at a designated location by the end of this week,” Morrison said, adding, that no other action will be taken against the importer.