The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has suspended the import of fresh produce from the Malaysian farm that produced iceberg lettuce with high levels of pesticide.
Fipronil is a broad use insecticide that belongs to the phenylpyrazole chemical family. Fipronil is used to control ants, beetles, cockroaches, fleas, ticks, termites, mole crickets, thrips, rootworms, weevils, and other insects. Fipronil is a white powder with a moldy odor.
The authorities issued a recall of the lettuce sold at FairPrice and Sheng Siong supermarkets on Thursday (Oct 4).
In an updated statement on Saturday, AVA said that it has also notified the Malaysian authorities that it had detected higher-than-permitted levels of Fipronil in the product.
AVA added that it has requested for investigations to be conducted against the implicated farm, which has not been named.
The lettuce is sold under the brand name Pasar with supplier code 40 at FairPrice.
At Sheng Siong, it is sold under the name Iceberg.
This means that AVA will assess the food safety risk, such as the hazards known to be associated with certain food, before including it in its routine inspection and surveillance programme.
The process follows food safety standards and requirements, and it is a targeted approach taken by most food safety agencies worldwide.
Singapore imports over 90 per cent of our food and it is not practical for AVA to inspect and test all food in the market.
Just imagine the amount of vegetables that were imported into Singapore by stalls, hawkers which may not be are subjected to post-import inspection and sampling for food safety.
On top of this, most of them do not wash and rinse the vegetables prior to cooking.
images credit to https://pixabay.com/en/salad-green-leaf-lettuce-garden-1710328/