Officials from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) say they are using surveillance to monitor when formalin is being using in food products at markets.

They have been trying to raise awareness about produce safety at the township and state/region levels. They also plan to educate the villages, FDA officials said. But in order to cover more bases, they are monitoring the markets, and will press charges if unsafe products are found.

The FDA, Yangon City Development Committee and Myanmar’s Food Science and Technology Association (FoSTA) will train rice noodle manufacturers how to avoid formalin. The FDA and FoSTA will host a training focused on how to make produce last longer without formalin, said FDA director general U Than Htut.

“The training will be soon but we need cooperation from the public,” he said. “We would like to invite all the rice noodle producers to attend the training. The training will be useful for them.”

According to YCDC, there are 66 rice noodle producers in Yangon Region.

“We hope to train all producers in Yangon,” he said. “Bean curd producers can also join the training.”

Last May, formalin was found in rice noodles and bean curd at Yangon Region markets, said FDA food safety director U Tun Zaw.

“Formalin is not allowed to be used in food and it can be poisonous,” said U Than Htut. “We do not mean that all producers use formalin but we do not know how many formalin-based products are in the market.”

More than 60 cases involving unsafe products were opened in the first six months of 2016, according to the FDA.

Link: http://www.mmtimes.com/index.php/national-news/yangon/23063-agencies-crack-down-on-formalin-in-food.html