Sunday, August 20, 2017

Two factories suspended over formalin in bean cakes

Two kinds of bean cakes were found to be unsuitable for consumption after a spot check on two factories, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Mandalay.

Bean cakes produced in two factories were found to be unsuitable for consumption. Si Thu Lwin / The Myanmar TimesBean cakes produced in two factories were found to be unsuitable for consumption. Si Thu Lwin / The Myanmar Times

The factories were also temporarily suspended, starting from June 19.

A food survey, and testing by a mobile laboratory van was conducted at Yadanarpon (sa) market in Chan Mya Tharsi township by the FDA on June 12 and two of the four kinds of bean cakes were found to contain formalin after tests.

The bean cake brands which contain formalin were (A), (T), (7) and (Y).

FDA Deputy Director Dr Kyaw Kyaw told The Myanmar Times that ”formalin is used for dead bodies to prevent decaying. The bean cakes were soaked in formalin as a preservative.

“We found two kinds of the bean cake in Yadanapon (sa) market and another two were found during a second spot check.

Dr Kyaw Kyaw said “Four out of six collected samples were found to contain formalin. Two brands were produced from the same factory.

“The factory produces the bean cakes under various brands. The two factories have been suspended until further notice. One is in Sin village, Patheingyi and the other one in Amarapura. We will continue checking on the bean cakes in markets.”

He also said that most of bean cakes in the market are not yet in a position to get FDA endorsement but technical assistance will be provided for production.

Dr Kyaw Kyaw said, “Now, they are using wooden molds in production. Technical upgrades for different levels of production will be provided.

“According to current findings, bean cakes are being soaked in formalin so that they can last for several days before distribution to other cities.

“The two factories, which were temporarily suspended, had pledged not to use the substance. But they changed the brand name and continued using formalin. We will refer the matter to the head office for further action to be taken,” said Dr Kyaw Kyaw.

The regional health department, consumer dispute settlement team, township health section and market department of the Mandalay City Development Committee (MCDC) cooperated with the FDA in the excercise.

The food safety project, initiated in Mandalay under the 100-day program of the new government is still continuing and is aimed at ensuring that food in the 44 markets in Mandalay is dye-free and safe to eat.

An official from Market and Abattoir Department said, ”We cook bean cakes to give vegetarian dishes to monks and the elderly. This type of vegetarian food is causing food poisoning. They should not sell such tainted bean cakes.”

FDA officials have urged people to choose natural rather than coloured chilli powder, bamboo shoots, roasted beans and sweet meat.

Translation by Zaw Nyunt