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Feb 5, 2015

…BAHA Issues Food Safety Alert and Commences Investigation

Late this evening, BAHA and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture issued a food safety alert informing the public of the troubling find of the tainted Irish potatoes.  News Five spoke by phone with Chief Agriculture Officer Roberto Harrison who was in Central Farm earlier today investigating the occurrence.

 

Via phone: Roberto Harrison, Chief Agriculture Officer

Via Phone: Roberto Harrison

“The Belize Agricultural Health Authority, BAHA, and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture inform the public that they have received confirmed reports of tainted Irish Potatoes being sold in San Ignacio.  Investigations revealed that the potatoes are dyed a pink/fuchsia color and are circulating on the market. Confiscation of this product has commenced and the public is advised not to purchase or consume these tainted potatoes.  Potatoes produced locally at this time are of the Rouge variety which has a red skin and are safe to consume. It is believed that the tainted potatoes are contraband products that have been dyed to resemble the local produce.  Attached is a photograph that shows the difference between the two potatoes. The potato labeled number one is the tainted product, and number two is the locally produced red potato.  BAHA is conducting analysis of the product and investigating the possible source of the product to guide further action.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Now Mr. Harrison have you been made aware that there may be cases of illness as a result of consumption of these tainted potatoes?”

 

Roberto Harrison

“Not to our knowledge but we do note from an email that was sent out by Maya Mountain Lodge that in fact some of their guests were sick but to determine if it was the result of the potatoes being eaten again further analysis would have to be done on that as well.”

 

According to the release, confiscation of the contraband product has commenced in the San Ignacio area.

 

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