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Feb 5, 2015

Fake Red Potatoes Discovered in San Ignacio

There is a disturbing report tonight about those red Irish potatoes. Earlier this week, a resort owner in the Cayo District purchased potatoes at a vegetable stall in San Ignacio believing that the produce was of the Belizean red variety. But upon further inspection a day later, it was confirmed that the vegetable was tainted Irish potatoes imported from Mexico.  The potatoes, painted a light pink color, resembles the rouge hue of the local vegetable.  This afternoon, Bart Mickler, proprietor of Maya Mountain Lodge, raised the alarm when an email was disseminated informing the media of the presence of the stained potatoes.  According to Mickler, there have been reports of guests at other hotels falling ill from consuming the contaminated vegetables.  BAHA personnel have wasted no time in setting up a sting operation in an effort to bust the vendors.


Via Phone: Bart Mickler, Owner, Maya Mountain Lodge

Via Phone: Bart Mickler

“Our staff went down on Tuesday to purchase produce and came back with some various produce, including the potatoes.  The next morning, Wednesday morning, some of my staff members who live in San Antonio Village who actually are potato growers were saying that they had just brought in their first shipment of their crop and they said, “Hey, what are you doing with those?  Those aren’t real.  They are actually painted.”  And I said, “Well, I can’t believe that.”  And then they showed me how the paint or dye comes off and it really was a disguised Mexican potato.  And they were very upset because here they are delivering the Belizean products and these people were trying to trick the public. Within a few minutes after discovering it I started hearing about other lodges in the area that were very concerned and we can’t say for sure that that’s the case but there were cases where lodges were looking at sickness of other guests very seriously and looking at whether or not these potatoes were the cause of it.  Also, I’m sure they’re also pulling these potatoes out of their lodges and as far as the Belizean public goes everybody is concerned about their children and it’s not just about tourists.  We are hearing feedback but of course you know that I’m not a doctor and this isn’t proven, it’s just a caution that we have to take at this point.”


Isani Cayetano

“I understand as well that you have contacted the Belize Agricultural Health Authority to try to get an investigation going into this particular matter.”


Via Phone: Bart Mickler

“Actually yes, I called and got a hold of the coordinator for the agriculture department here in the Cayo District, Ms. Fay Garnett.  She was very cordial, she said to me when I called her at eleven-thirty this morning, she said that she was actually sitting with the executive of BAHA, they had a team there and would I please come join them.  So within thirty minutes I was at Central Farm, brought in samples and analyzing it immediately and before the conversation was over they had already dispatched sting operations to actually capture cases of people selling them.  And so I came back to my house and started sending it out to the media because I thought the public needed to know.  The media houses immediately asked me to get photos, I went down and the market didn’t have but fortunately I found that some of the small stands still have it and I took pictures and sent it out to the media houses.”


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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1 Response for “Fake Red Potatoes Discovered in San Ignacio”

  1. Spike says:

    So many scams in Belize: fake land titles through the Department of Lands & Surveys, fake passports through the Immigration Department, and now fake potatoes! Is there anything in Belize that remains honest and good? I don’t think so! If you are a foreign national, take your vacation dollars and travel elsewhere.

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