GRDB probing mouldy rice shipped to Jamaica

first_imgThe Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB) is probing the circumstances surrounding the shipment of 70 metric tonnes of White Cinderella rice which was confiscated in Jamaica after it was found unsuitable for human consumption.This announcement comes after numerous media reports on the incident as General Manager of the GRDB, Nizam Hassan continues to maintain that no rice has been shipped to Jamaica from Guyana by the miller who packages under the Cinderella brand for the year.He stated that the last shipment left Guyana on December 15, 2018, and arrived four days after several mandatory tests.The Guyana Rice Development Board“We have since reached out to the Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Division in the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries in Jamaica and are awaiting a response. The situation is puzzling since the last shipment left Guyana on the 15th December and arrived on the 19th December 2018. Like any other shipment, the rice that was sent to Jamaica underwent a series of physical tests and was certified. The Board conducts such tests on paddy, rice and rice by-products prior to any shipment leaving Guyana,” Hassan said.GRDB said that its export records revealed that the supplier has not received any complaints from the buyer in Jamaica to date.“It is very important that the rice be stored in a dry place. Mould and other bacteria can develop on the grain if the rice is exposed to moisture or becomes wet in storage,” Hassan said.The rice was confiscated by the Ministry of Industries, Agriculture and Fisheries (MICAF) because of high microbial content after reaching the countries shores.According to reports by Jamaica Observer, the Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation Division of the Ministry impounded some 1575 bags of rice worth millions of dollars.The grains, according to Jamaica Observer, were inspected and was found to have signs of mould, clumping discolouration and wetting and as such, detained by a food storage inspector.These alarming discoveries ensured that a statutory detention notice was fixed and samples were submitted to the Division’s microbiology lab for testing.Results showed that the rice contained microbial levels which are beyond the accepted limits, thus making it inapt for human consumption.In keeping with the Food Storage and Prevention of Infestation (FSPI) Act (1958) and Regulations (1973), provisions were made for the rice to be disposed of after discussions with the importer, who is said to be a large-scale distributor from the island.This seizure is said to be the first for the year but an epidemic of poor quality rice exiting Guyana was seen in the recent months when Panama rejected some 20 containers of rice from Guyana back in September.As such, one local miller, Turhane Doerga, commented on the matter and strongly stated that the GRBD should zero in on the quality of rice before it is exported.“The GRDB is an insult to all law-abiding rice people in this country. The rice was shipped from Guyana. Where was GRBD? The rice millers and everybody pay them so it is corruption. Bad rice is passing and it gives Guyana a bad name. This is my concern that again, Guyana is getting a bad name because the people who are paid to make sure that quality is shipped are not doing their jobs,” Doerga said.last_img

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