The Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) confirmed on Tuesday that canned sardines circulating in Meranti Islands regency, Riau, had been contaminated by thread worms, also known as round worms.
The result of a laboratory check conducted by the BPOM Pekanbaru revealed the canned mackerel products distributed under brand name Farmer Jack tested positive for containing parasites.
Rita Aristia of the BPOM Pekanbaru said the agency’s laboratory had assessed samples of two sardine products distributed with different batch numbers and found that both, which were imported from China, contained thread worms.
“Thread worms are long and round in shape. They can live in moist soil, freshwater and sea [salt] water. They are parasitic in nature and can grow both in human and animal bodies,” said Rita on Tuesday.
BPOM Pekanbaru investigators have searched distributors and minimarts in Meranti Islands to stop distribution of the canned sardines. “We will confiscate the products and have asked them to return them to distributors, which must send them back to the importers. For further steps, we are still waiting for instructions from the BPOM headquarters in Jakarta,” said Rita.
She said how the canned sardines could be contaminated by the parasites remained unknown. “What we can be sure of is, all samples sent by the Meranti Islands Health Agency for laboratory checks have not yet expired and were still fully sealed,” said Rita.
She confirmed the imported products were registered at the BPOM with registration number ML 543929007175. “The products are legal. Their importer is in Batam.”