Trinidad – Express
The Ministry of Health says its Chemistry/Food and Drugs Division has received an official complaint about several boxes of locally manufactured juices found with what appeared to be mould.
The Ministry says samples of the juices have been sent for testing and it has met with the juice manufacturers.
A video of the mould-tainted juices were posted online earlier this week.
A woman in the video claimed that she purchased several 250ml Orchard juices from a wholesaler, only to discover mould inside.
The juices were to expire in June this year.
Denise d’Abadie, head of corporate communications at Orchard juice manufacturer, Nestle, told the Express on Thursday that the company did in fact receive a complaint about the mould.
“But she said Nestle was unable to do its own testing as the complainant did not leave the cartons of juices with the company.
In a statement, Nestle said mould growth occurs if a carton falls or is dented during transportation or handling, “after it has left the factory”.
In a media release, the Ministry said it is aware of the social media video.
It said immediate steps have already been taken to address the issue.
It said samples of the products, which were received from the complainant, were sent to the Trinidad Public Health Lab for testing.
“A meeting was held with representatives from the juice manufacturer who gave a commitment to ensure due diligence,” the Ministry stated.
“An in-house reference sample, from the same product batch of the affected juice, was pulled for testing by the manufacturer. The manufacturer also provided comprehensive documentation of their protocols regarding customer complaints of this nature,” it noted.
The Ministry said its Chemistry/Food and Drugs Division will continue to take the necessary steps, through sampling and the inspection of the manufacturing facility, to ensure the integrity of the goods produced at that location.
It has reminded the public of the basic precautionary measures to be taken when purchasing packaged food items and beverages:
· Check the general condition of the packaging (Cans, Tetra packs etc) to ensure that the package is NOT damaged, discolored, dented or broken.
· Check for the Expiry Date / Best Before Date on the package.
· Follow the storage instructions as stated on the label of the product.
Where there is a general concern or suspicion concerning packaged food items and beverages, persons are invited to contact the Chemistry/Food and Drugs Division via:
· Phone: 623-5242
· Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Samples may also be brought into the Division which is located at #92 Frederick Street, Port of Spain, the Ministry advised.