After finding that 27 brands selling canned fish in Indonesia had an unsavory, unlisted ingredient of worms in some of their products, the country’s Food & Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) has pulled the brands off the shelves, four of which had been available in Bali.
According to information provided by the BPOM Denpasar Center on Thursday, the four brands include Ayam Brand, Bontan, Dongwon, and Sempio.
We can find a little comfort in the fact that the worms were only found in a few batches of each brand, according to the head of Denpasar’s BPOM Investigation Division, I Wayan Eka Ratnata.
Morever, because of the production process of canned fish and also because canned fish is not consumed raw, the worms would likely be dead before consumption—for the people so unlucky to get their hands on a bad batch.
Consumption of the worms would result in symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and abdominal cramps, but symptoms would only manifest as hypersensitive reactions in those with weak immunity, Udayana University parasitology expert Dr. I Made Sudarmaja, M.Kes explained to Bali Post on Thursday.
Even though the worms were only uncovered in a limited number of batches of each brand, the brands have been attempting to recall their products and appeal to shops not to sell their remaining inventory, while BPOM has ordered the brands to cease sales for the time being.
BPOM will play an active role in supervising the circulation of canned fish in Indonesia, for an undetermined amount of time, Ratnata told Bali Post.