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Kidapawan exec orders pull out of all expired food products, sans expiry dates

HEALTH • 01:30 AM Wed Jul 15, 2015
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Malu C. Manar
Samples of durian candy sold in Kidapawan City. (Photo by Williamor Magbanua)

KIDAPAWAN CITY - Mayor Joseph Evangelista has ordered the withdrawal from stores and grocery centers allproducts manufactured by Davao City-based Wendy’s Candy Factory following reports of food poisoning of at least 20 pupils in a public school here last week.The pupils suffered nausea and vomitingafter allegedly ingesting their products sold by ambulant vendors. Evangelista, chair of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDDRMC), said his mandate will ensure the general welfare of his constituents, particularly the consuming public. Food, pastries and candies that carry labels that do not have expiry date will be removed from stores, Evangelista told reporters. Food labels with erased expiry date or covered with stickerswill be removed, he added. Evangelista tasked his CDDRM officer Psalmer Bernalte, also head of Public Safety Division of the city government, to enforce provisions of all laws related to food safety and regulation. Evangelista cited, in particular, provisions from the Republic Act 10611 or the Food Safety Regulatory Act, when he demanded from concerned vendors and food business operators in the city to immediately withdraw and recall from sale or distribution of any food which is considered or believed to be unsafe or not in compliance with food safety requirements. Armed with such order, Bernalte and his CDRRM team, including staff and personnel from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) in North Cotabato, trooped to different food stalls located at the city’s overland terminal along Ninoy Aquino Avenue, here, on Monday. During the inspection, Bernalte ordered operators and vendors to withdraw from their shelves all products manufactured by Wendy’s, based on verified reports that the candies ingested by the poisoned pupils of the Kidapawan City Pilot Elementary School, as well as thousand others from Surigao del Sur, were labeled as coming from such manufacturer. He also insisted on pulling out from the stores all packed foods that do not bear the required expiration dates indicated on the face of the packaging. Also during the inspection, Bernalte said they were surprised to see a number of expired food products being sold at the public terminal. How can these vendors bear to sell products that are already expired three or five years ago?What were they thinking?” he asked. Evangelista cautioned food operators that their business permits might be ‘put at risk’ if they are caught selling products that are expired, adulterated, or mislabeled or if they continue to violate provisions of the Food Safety Regulatory Act of 2013 despite several notices or warnings.

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