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The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has taken a number of precautionary measures to ensure that green pepper, cardamom and a type of frozen buffalo meat imported from India are safe for human consumption and conform to relevant standards and specifications.
Instructions have been circulated to all ports that samples must be withdrawn from all consignments of these products and they should not be released until proven to be safe, valid and conforming to the requirements of the technical regulations and relevant standards, the ministry said.
It is mandatory that all shipments of green pepper, cardamom and the specific type of the buffalo meat imported from India as of April 1, 2021 must be attached with an analysis certificate issued by an accredited laboratory (ISO 17025) or statements issued by the competent authorities in the country of origin indicating their safety and suitability for human consumption. The certificates should also state that green pepper and cardamom are free from pesticide residues and that the buffalo meat is free of salmonella. Withdrawal of samples should be continued from all incoming shipments, the ministry’s circular said.
The circular indicated that the application of these procedures will continue until the imported consignments are in conformity with the related requirements and that these products may be banned if such action is required.
These actions came into effect after the continuous risk assessment by the food safety department at the MoPH which monitors food risks and makes decisions based on the risk level of each product, in line with the international approaches. The competent authorities in the country of origin are notified of these procedures in accordance with the applicable regulations in this regard.
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