Board directs company to withdraw baby food (pg 3)

THE Food and Drugs Board (FDB) has directed the immediate withdrawal of the baby food, Beech-Nut Whole Grain Oatmeal and Mixed Fruit, from the market.
The Beech-Nut Baby Food, with batch number 9909 B1 and expiry date of December 2010, is one of the products distributed by PNT Pharmacy Limited.
According to the FDB, the order, which it said affected only the mentioned product and not other products or brands of the company, was necessitated by evidence of product deterioration caused by weevil infestation.
Speaking to the Daily Graphic after conducting sample tests at the company’s warehouse and some retail outlets selling the product, the acting Head of Food Inspectorate of the FDB, Mr Kofi Essel, said the investigation and the directive were the result of a complaint received concerning two of the company’s products — the Beech-Nut Whole Grain Oatmeal and Mixed Fruit and the Beech-Nut Multigrain.
He said after follow-up investigations through sampling and inspecting the products in question, the FDB found that the Beech-Nut Whole Grain Oatmeal and Mixed Fruit was found to contain signs of weevil infestation while the Beech-Nut Multigrain had no problem.
He stated that the distributor had agreed to comply with the directive and would subsequently furnish the FDB with its distribution list to ensure effective monitoring of the product recall process.
Mr Essel indicated that the FDB would ensure that the product was immediately removed from the shelves and advised persons with the product either for sale or consumption to report to the FDB.
He said the manufacturers of the product, Beech-Nut Nutritions Corporation of the United States of America, would be contacted to check its product reference list and ultimately “detect where the problem is coming from”.
He said although the product had not exceeded its shelf life, storage conditions was a contributory factor to the deterioration.
He, therefore, advised wholesalers to observe good warehouse practices to ensure that the foods were stored in appropriate temperature, clean environment and had up-to-date pest programmes to eliminate the possibility of pest infestation.
Mr Essel advised the public to be diligent when buying canned, bottled or any other food item especially for children, the elderly, convalescents or persons with problems with the immune system to prevent triggering illnesses by such foods.
He said consumers should always ensure that they checked for the expiry date, the batch number and country of origin to detect the safety of foods.
He urged the public not to patronise packaged foods from hawkers and petty traders who displayed their items in the sun as it exposed the food to chemical reactions that contributed to making them unwholesome.
“Food on the sun heats and cools easily leading to product deterioration with varying temperatures.
“Canned food, bottled food and any other packaged food should be stored at shady places as required.”

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