Muscat, June 19
While assuring the safety of food products in the Sultanate, authorities said there is no need for worry about the safety of rice being sold in the country.
“All food items sold in the Omani market are tested to ensure their compliance with standard specifications and they are found to be safe from any kind of contamination,” the Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources said in a statement on Monday.
The ministry was responding to social media videos purporting
that rice was contaminated with plastic.
“The ministry urges residents in Oman not to follow such reports which are not based on scientific evidence.
These kinds of news are rejected as fake,” said the statement.
The social media was agog with rumours that counterfeit rice made in an Asian country from plastic was flooding the local market.
An official at the Muscat Municipality said his office had been receiving a flurry of phone calls raising questions about the safety of the rice. “A number of tests conducted to check the quality of rice, their validity date and packaging materials have reassured that the food item is safe for use,” he said.
Reacting to the announcement made by the ministry, a wholesale merchant, on condition of anonymity, said the rumours were the handiwork of some ‘anti-social elements’ trying to create panic among consumers. “The rumours, which first started in some African and Asian countries, reached the region, including a neighbouring country, and finally landed in the Sultanate,” he said.
He urged consumers not to pay heed to such false online reports. “The results of the tests are a solace not only to the consumers but also the merchant community,” he added.