Govt. agency can’t investigate claim

By Lanuola Tusani Tupufia ,

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Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May waves towards the media as she arrives to attend a cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street, in London, Tuesday, July 12, 2016. Theresa May will become Britain's new Prime Minister on Wednesday.

Britain's Home Secretary Theresa May waves towards the media as she arrives to attend a cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street, in London, Tuesday, July 12, 2016. Theresa May will become Britain's new Prime Minister on Wednesday. (Photo: Kirsty Wigglesworth)

The Scientific Research Organisation of Samoa (S.R.O.S) cannot investigate the unusual meat products found in a can of Farmers corned beef.

As a result, it has referred the matter back to the Ministry of Health. “We can’t investigate it,” said S.R.O.S. Manager of Technical Services, Pousui Dr. Fiame Leo. 

“We do not have the equipments to do so. It appears to be chicken heart but we cannot make a recommendation because we need equipments to test the D.N.A. which we do not have.” Pousui told the Samoa Observer yesterday that the unusual meat product had to be referred back to Health. 

It was not possible to get a comment from the Director General of Health, Leausa Dr. Take Naseri. 

However, on Tuesday he said the Ministry of Health is investigating claims about the usual meat products in the Farmer’s Corned Beef. 

“The process resulting in the recall of Farmers Corned Beef was initiated after public complaints of contamination of the corned beef with flesh or tissues other than beef,” he said in an email.

“Physical verification and examination of the corned beef product carried out by our Food Safety Officers found unusual meat products. There was also inconsistency of the labelling information with the food content.”

Earlier last week the Ministry issued a recall notice of the product. 

“The recall process is enforced while samples of the mentioned corned beef have been sent for tissue analysis at S.R.O.S and National Health Services Diagnostic laboratories.”

Leausa added the company and distributor of the corned beef have been advised about the decision and will be informed about the outcome of the tests. According to the Fiji Sun yesterday, the allegations of contamination in Foods Pacific Limited’s Farmers Style Corned Beef is a first for the company in its over 40 years of business operations.

Foods Pacific Sales and Marketing Manager Domestic and Export, Mohit H Shrrivastav, told the Fiji Sun that the company has never in its history received any such complaints.

Mr. Shrrivastav said the matter was now with the Samoan Ministry of Health who are doing their investigation.

 “We are respecting their investigation process and they are doing their procedures. The results will be out and then we will all be informed,” he said. Foods Pacific exports its canned meat products, which includes corned beef and corned mutton, to Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati, Wallis & Futuna, Tuvalu, New Zealand and Australia.

© Samoa Observer 2016

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