The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) has ordered the recall of canned goods previously given to Oriental Mindoro residents affected by the recent oil spill from sunken motor tanker Princess Empress.
The said canned goods had been included in food packs given as assistance to affected residents, according to a report by Bam Alegre on Unang Balita on Monday based on information gathered by GMA Regional TV Balitang Southern Tagalog.
This was after some of those who received the food packs said the canned tuna looked and tasted different.
The tuna was allegedly salty, and a cat even threw up after eating it.
Some 160,000 to 240,000 cans are being recalled, according to Dano Tingcungco's follow-up report on 24 Oras.
Because the food packs must contain the correct number of items, the DSWD has suspended their roll-out to conduct a "mix and match" to replace the recalled cans of tuna.
The DSWD said the items in the food packs are not yet expired, but DSWD Secretary Rex Gatchalian has ordered the department's Central Office to coordinate with the supplier. As part of its investigation, the DSWD is also getting in touch with the manufacturers as well.
Calapan Mayor Malou Morillo, meanwhile, posted a video of herself eating tuna with pandesal. It is not clear if the tuna is from the packs in question, or from the same batch. Nevertheless, she has put a halt to the distribution of the packs.
"Siguro, hindi lang sila sanay na kainin 'yung brand na 'yun, dahil bago lang. And naisip ko naman na nasa City Government kami; ipina-bid 'yan," she said.
FDA to test items
The Food and Drug Administration will also test the food items, the report said.
"Hininigi na po natin 'yung tulong ng FDA nang sa ganoon ay ma-test kung may contamination ba na nangyari," said DSWD spokesperson Assistant Secretary Romel Lopez.
The MT Princess Empress sank in the waters of Naujan, Oriental Mindoro on February 28 while carrying 900,000 liters of industrial fuel. —KG/BM, GMA Integrated News