DAVAO CITY, Philippines - After investigations on the reported fake rice failed to yield results, a barangay chair in Upper Saloy in Calinan District here reported having bought fake noodles in a public market, the head of the environment sanitation division told a gathering of councilors here.
Robert Oconer, environment sanitation division of the City Health Office, said Upper Saloy barangay chair Gary Gensianos showed him samples of the supposedly fake bihon (noodles) on Friday, July 3, which could not be eaten after the family had cooked it.
Oconer said Gensianos claimed that although the noodles did not have a foul smell, it was slimy.
City Health Officer Josephine Villafuerte, however, refrained from making any statement after samples of the questionable item shall be submitted for laboratory tests to the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) to avoid creating undue panic to the public.
Oconer had spoken about the reported fake noodles during the presentation of the initial findings of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) on the reported fake rice in the city.
But except for the presence of a substance called dibutyl phthalate, a chemical compound commonly used as a binder in food packaging, there's nothing conclusive yet in the investigation of the suspected fake rice reported in the city, Virgilio Alerta, provincial manager of the National Food Authority (NFA), said.
CIDG investigator Warren Dablu also said the samples of "suspicious" rice earlier sent to the NFA office in Taguig, could have been contaminated, because after having stayed for three days in the refrigerator, it had also been exposed at the family's veranda before it was cooked.
Dablu, who interviewed the source of the alleged fake rice, said the item was cooked on June 20, and was placed inside the canteen refrigerator for three days. The rice, put inside a white and green plastic containers, were brought to the house on June 23. The rice in one of the containers laid exposed in the house for hours before it was discovered by the complainant on June 24 and cooked it at 4 a.m. the following day.
Alerta said no one can explain the presence of dibutyl phthalate in the rice but it's possible that the rice sample may have been contaminated.