Chonburi factory raided as children fall sick after consuming sausages
A raid on a sausage factory suspected of manufacturing unsafe foods in Chonburi province on Wednesday led to the seizure of 32 items worth around 700,000 baht.
The raid was conducted jointly by the Central Investigation Bureau (CIB) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The owner of the factory reportedly confessed to running the operations without proper authorisation.
Police and the FDA held a joint conference on Thursday to give information on the factory raid.
The FDA had approached the Consumer Protection Police Division after many children had to be hospitalised due to a condition called methemoglobinemia after they ate sausages.
After communication with provincial public health offices in Chiang Mai, Saraburi, Phetchaburi, and Trang to find the sellers, their investigations led to the manufacturer in Chonburi province.
The police, the FDA, and the Chonburi public health office went to the factory and found the owner of the meat factory which manufactures meat products including sausages and meatballs.
She reportedly admitted that the manufacturing operation did not have official authorisation. The sausages’ product labels had no FDA number and reportedly matched the ones that the children ate from.
According to Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), the product failed the suitability test as it got only a score of 19, or 16.67 per cent. They found many faults such as no manufacturing control, and many of the processes did not follow the legal factory process.
They have collected food samples for laboratory analyses. The factory would be guilty of violating the Food Act if prohibited substances are found in the food.
Manufacture of contaminated food is punishable with two years in jail, or a fine of up to 20,000 baht, or both. Manufacturers of adulterated food could be jailed from six months to 10 years, or fined from 1,000 baht to 100,000 baht.
Currently, the owner will be fined up to 10,000 baht for producing foods not in the GMP criteria and another fine of up to 30,000 baht for incorrect food labels.
The Consumer Protection Police Division has warned citizens to not buy food products from unknown sources because it might be dangerous. They also warned manufacturers against violating safety standards. Citizens could contact the division's hotline 1135 or its Facebook page.
The FDA also asked food sellers to buy food products only from authorised sources by checking the label. Consumers could contact the FDA’s hotline at 1556, email [email protected], and provincial public health offices if they want to report unsafe food and health products or manufacturers, or are unsure about the quality and safety of food.