By Benjamin Flowers
Residents in western Belize have beenwarned that there are potatoes for sale which are unsafe for public consumption.
The Belize Agriculture Health Authority (BAHA) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Agriculture issued an advisory on Thursday explaining that the tainted potatoes discovered in San Ignacio were dyed with a substance yet unknown to turn them a “pink/fuchsia colour.”
Chief Agricultural Officer, Roberto Harrison told The Reporter that while investigations are ongoing, the ministry has already begun to confiscate all such potatoes it comes across.
“At this time we want to inform the public that they should not purchase and definitely not consume these potatoes,” Harisson said.
He added that the incident is a public health concern and so the ministry is handling the situation with great care.
The initial complaint came from Bart Milker, owner of Maya Mountain Lodge, who wrote to BAHA explaining that a shipment of suspicious potatoes was delivered to his establishment.
Mickler said that the potatoes turned out to be Mexican contraband potatoes, dyed with an unknown substance to give their reddish color.
“Further research has revealed that practically no careful inspection for food safety is done on any imported produce, either at the border or in the market,” Milker said.
Several others have reported seeing the tainted potatoes in the west.
The motive for the farce has not been made clear as authorities continue their investigation. into the matter.