BERA, Jan 17 ― The Ministry of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry has restricted the entry of Gala and Granny Smith apples from the United States (US) into Malaysia, as the products have been suspected to be tainted with Listeriosis bacteria.
Its minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the restriction was imposed by the Department of Malaysian Quarantine Inspection Services (Maqis) after the Ministry received a notice on the contamination two days ago.
“We received a notice from US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) informing us about the contamination and it is understood that it has caused three deaths and many fallen ill in the US and Canada,” he said.
Ismail Sabri was speaking to reporters after launching the Bera Parliament ‘Servis Motosikal Pasca Banjir’ or the ‘Post-Flood Motorcycle Servicing’ programme here, today.
However, he said, the ministry had no jurisdiction to recall the apples that were already in Malaysia, as it involved food nutrition under the Ministry of Health.
The issue related to the ban on the apples had spread via the social media for the past few days. In fact a media portal had also reported that the spread of the bacteria was detected at an apple processing centre in Bidart Bros near Bakersfield, California involving apples coated with caramel.
Meanwhile Ismail Sabri, who is also the Chairman of the Pahang State Disaster Committee, said the committee was coordinating with flood victims involving 23,000 families for the purpose of distributing aid of RM500.
“We are also looking into homes which had been damaged or badly affected during the floods in planning for the construction of temporary housing and new houses,” he said.
The programme saw a total of 350 motorcycles damaged by floods given free repairs courtesy of Shell Malaysia, Naza Motor Trading Sdn Bhd and GiatMara. ― Bernama