Agen­cies crack down on for­ma­lin in food

The Myanmar Times - - News - MYINT KAY THI my­in­tkaythi@mm­

OF­FI­CIALS from the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion (FDA) say they are us­ing sur­veil­lance to mon­i­tor when for­ma­lin is be­ing us­ing in food prod­ucts at mar­kets.

They have been try­ing to raise aware­ness about pro­duce safety at the town­ship and state/re­gion lev­els. They also plan to ed­u­cate the vil­lages, FDA of­fi­cials said. But in or­der to cover more bases, they are mon­i­tor­ing the mar­kets, and will press charges if unsafe prod­ucts are found.

The FDA, Yan­gon City De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee and Myan­mar’s Food Science and Tech­nol­ogy As­so­ci­a­tion (FoSTA) will train rice noodle man­u­fac­tur­ers how to avoid for­ma­lin. The FDA and FoSTA will host a train­ing fo­cused on how to make pro­duce last longer with­out for­ma­lin, said FDA di­rec­tor gen­eral U Than Htut.

“The train­ing will be soon but we need co­op­er­a­tion from the pub­lic,” he said. “We would like to in­vite all the rice noodle pro­duc­ers to at­tend the train­ing. The train­ing will be use­ful for them.”

Ac­cord­ing to YCDC, there are 66 rice noodle pro­duc­ers in Yan­gon Re­gion.

“We hope to train all pro­duc­ers in Yan­gon,” he said. “Bean curd pro­duc­ers can also join the train­ing.”

Last May, for­ma­lin was found in rice noo­dles and bean curd at Yan­gon Re­gion mar­kets, said FDA food safety di­rec­tor U Tun Zaw.

“For­ma­lin is not al­lowed to be used in food and it can be poi­sonous,” said U Than Htut. “We do not mean that all pro­duc­ers use for­ma­lin but we do not know how many for­ma­lin-based prod­ucts are in the mar­ket.”

More than 60 cases in­volv­ing unsafe prod­ucts were opened in the first six months of 2016, ac­cord­ing to the FDA.

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