Monday, July 24, 2017

Spot checks by FDA to ensure safe products

The Department of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is making spot checks in the markets and retail shops around the Yangon Region to ensure products sold are safe and comply with regulations.

FDA’s surprise check takes place at Theingyizay market in Pabedan township, Yangon yesterday. Aung Khant / The Myanamr TimesFDA’s surprise check takes place at Theingyizay market in Pabedan township, Yangon yesterday. Aung Khant / The Myanamr Times

Officials from the FDA, which comes under the Ministry of Health and Sports, said that department officials and other relevant authorities, will make surprise checks on food, drugs and cosmetics at the Theingyizay market.

Dr Khin Saw Hla, director of the FDA Yangon branch, said, “We have planned for the surprise checks in all markets across the Yangon Region in collaboration with other relevant departments and will do field checks around the area.”

The FDA had earlier found the presence of pesticide residue and antibiotics in food, especially in ngapi (fish paste), laphet (pickled tea), jelly, juices, vegetables, meats, rice noodles and tofu.

After the initial checks yesterday in Theingyizay, some rice noodles and tofu were found to contain formalin.

Dr Khin Saw Hla said, “The community needs to be conscious and aware of the dangers of these chemicals.

“We will inform the parties involved about the contaminated products after the results come out from our lab.”

She also said, “We will not mention when the dates and or which places we will be making the surprise checks because some shopkeepers will shut their premises on the dates we plan to visit them.”

“We check in the markets being used by the majority of people, to see if any illegal chemical or dyes are being used in the products. Some of the food products can be tested immediately by a mobile lab, but others need to be taken to our main lab. We will release the results soon,” she said yesterday.

Dr Tun Lin Aung, deputy director of the FDA, said that spot check surveillance program is one of the main activities of the department and currently they are increasing the frequency of checks.”

“We try to educate those involved, but if they don’t obey the rules and regulation, they will face action.

“We have found many products that are not registered with the FDA but being sold in the market,” she said.

The FDA plans to increase the number of checks on markets throughout the country and all branches of FDA have been instructed to start immediately.