The US Food and Drugs Administration has decided to quarantine 11 items of food products and medicines from Thailand after finding out that they are of substandard qualities that do not meet the set standards due to the presence of Salmonella bacteria, gastrointestinal infectious bacteria, excessive lead residue and wrong labelling.
The 11 items of food products and medicines are as follows:
- Frozen salted fish, salted fish mixed with chili for snacks from 12 factories. It was discovered that the salt used caused Clostridium Botulinum bacteria.
- Salted seafood such as salted snakehead fish, dried shrimps, dried squid, snail, lobster and mollusk from 42 factories. Salmonella bacteria were found in the products.
- Food and drinks from 104 factories. The food coloring used in the products was not declared with the US FDA in advance.
- Excessive lead residue was found in the ceramic containers used in containing food and drinks from one factory.
- Medicines from two manufacturers do not meet GMPS guidelines and proper production process.
- Medical gloves from 11 factories do not meet the required standard.
- Unprocessed farm products
- Food products from 26 factories such as dried Lamyai, frozen durian, mangosteen, grapes, lichee, mango, frozen fish and pickle. Insecticide residue was found in the products.
- Powdered chili, curry paste, tamarind paste and turmeric from 29 factories. Salmonella bacteria were found.
- Medicines from one manufacturer which declined inspection by FDA officials
- Wrong labelling on food products from 4 factories.
Mr Visit Limluecha, vice president of food industry group of the Federation of Thai Industries, said the quarantined food products mostly came from small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), hence, it was the responsibility of both the private and government sectors to educate them about the need to comply with product safety and quality standards.
He said the US FDA was very strict with random checks of imports, especially from countries which have trade surplus with the US.
Although the quarantined products were confined to certain food products, he warned that if this was repeated, Thai food exports in general to the US market might be affected in the long run.
As far as the FDA was confirmed, Mr Visit explained that the association concerned would notify its members whose products were quarantined to make rectifications.
If they are not members of the associations affiliated with the FDI, then the associations concerned should warn the factories in question to make rectifications.