Let this be a lesson to ALWAYS wash and soak your fresh produce thoroughly after buying them at the market!
Yesterday, The Health Ministry ordered an immediate ban on the sale of the Vege 2 Fresh brand iceberg lettuce as it was found to be contaminated with high levels of Fipronil. So, if you have bought this brand of lettuce recently, don’t consume it!
Fipronil is a type of pesticide used to kill or manage a wide variety of pests. Exposure to Fipronil can lead to serious health effects and symptoms of exposure to Fipronil include sweating, nausea, vomiting, headache, abdominal pain, dizziness, agitation, weakness, and cramping. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, do seek medical attention!
This ban follows reports that an iceberg lettuce brand from a Malaysian farm has been recalled by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) after they detected high levels of pesticides in the vegetables.
Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said, “The AVA directed a recall for iceberg lettuce under the ‘Pasar’ and ‘Iceberg’ brands imported from Malaysia.”
According to The Star, the discovery of the contamination happened after a “whitish substance” was found on a batch of iceberg lettuce by the Food Safety and Quality Department of a Singaporean supermarket chain. The department then sent a sample of said lettuce to AVA for laboratory tests.
After the incident in Singapore, the Malaysian Health Ministry looked into the issue and found that the same lettuce was being sold locally under the Vege 2 Fresh brand.
If this news isn’t enough to convince you to wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly, here’s a little bit more information: Dr Noor Hisham also reported that between 2017 and July 2018, they tested 5,297 samples of fruits and vegetables and found that 97 of the samples had pesticide levels OVER the permitted limit.