Name brand of canned sardines contaminated with parasitic worms, authorities urged

KUALA LUMPUR: Two consumer groups have urged the authorities to publish details of the brand of canned sardines imported from Singapore which were found to be contaminated with parasitic worms.

The Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations (Fomca) and Pertubuhan Mersa Pengguna Malaysia (PMPM) also urged the authorities to issue a recall of canned sardines products produced by the same company.

They were commenting on reports that a consignment of cans of sardines was found to be contaminated with Anisakis spp. which when consumed, can result in severe stomach pains.

The canned sardines originated from China but were imported into Malaysia from Singapore.

The consignment in question was seized on March 27 by authorities at the Bangunan Sultan Iskandar checkpoint after the lorry transporting the goods failed to produce the necessary permits.

"It is essential for authorities to promptly reveal the brands and other related information so that consumers can easily identify and avoid purchasing the product," Fomca chief executive officer T. Saravanan told the New Straits Times.

He also called for increased enforcement of entry points into the country to prevent any more contaminated food from entering the country.

PMPM spokesman Nur Irdina Rieyzam said it was essential for the authorities to promptly reveal the brand of canned sardines contaminated with parasitic worms.

"Immediate steps should also be taken to recall the affected batch from the market and remove them from store shelves to prevent further distribution."

Nur Irdina said canned food products have an extended shelf life, and there may be consumers who have purchased tainted products but have yet to consume them.

Having the necessary information could help consumers avoid potential harm, she said.

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