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Tilapia. (Photo: Luis Eustaquio)

Chinese tilapia entry stopped for possible contamination

  (MEXICO, 1/17/2012)

The Federal Commission for Protection against Health Risks (COFEPRIS) issued a health alert to stop the entry of 50 tonnes of tilapia from China, because of the possible presence of malachite green, a substance considered as carcinogenic.

According to Federico Ziga Martinez, president of the National Restaurant and Spicy Food Industry (CANIRAC), COFEPRIS ordered a "sampling to determine the situation with tilapia and get to know its status."

He also said that the cargo is still immobilised in Juarez Customs until the laboratory results are obtained, which can take about three days.

Meanwhile, the restaurants will not have tilapia from that Asian country, although most use local products and from the rest of Mexico.

Ziga Martinez also made it clear that the restaurant owners took steps to stop offering it in the consumer choice.

Meanwhile, officials of the National Service of Health, Safety and Quality (SENASICA) explained that it is up to COFEPRIS to determine whether the cargo represents a danger to the health of consumers.

While the country has no restrictions prohibiting the admission of Chinese tilapia, Juarez Customs has immobilized the product since COFEPRIS issued the warning on 10 January. The measure will continue until the results are made known, El Diario reported.

As there are no laboratories in Juarez to make the necessary studies, samples had to be sent to other parts of Mexico.

"There is great demand in the town and even more now that we are close to Lent season, so it is important to be careful with this product", continued saying CANIRAC president.

Malachite green is used as an antiseptic in various parts of the world to combat the attack of external parasites and pathogens, fungi and bacteria, in fish.

In 1997, the Health Ministry of Chile banned its use in the salmon and food industry, because of its carcinogenic and mutagenic potential.

In the United Kingdom, the British Food Safety Agency banned its use in the food industry in June 2003, NorteDigital informed.

By Analia Murias
[email protected]
www.fis.com

 


Information of the company:
Address: Av. Municipio Libre 377, Col. Santa Cruz At
City: Juárez
State/ZIP: México D.F (03310)
Country: Mexico
Phone: +52 5905 1000
E-Mail: [email protected]
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