BALIK PULAU (Bernama) – The Ministry of Health has so far seized 19,960 Gala and Granny Smith apples worth RM82,000 in Kuching and Sibu, Sarawak.
Deputy Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya said the apples, products of Bidart Brothers of Bakersfield, California, United States were feared to be contaminated with the “Listeria monocytegenes” bacteria.
“In this country only Sarawak imports apples from the company and so far no case of listeriosis disease has been detected,” he told reporters after attending a special prayer ceremony for victims of a storm yesterday.
He said efforts to proactively monitor the sales of these varieties of apples would continue until the issue was resolved completely.
He advised those who have eaten the apples to immediately seek medical attention as a precaution.
Hilmi, who is also Balik Pulau Member of Parliament, said among early symptoms of this food-borne illness are headache, vomiting, fever and stiffness in the neck.
“The public is urged to not panic as not all apples are affected, only those from the company concerned are tainted,” he said.
Any queries may be directed to the Ministry of Health through the District Health Office (PKD) or the nearest State Health Department (JKN) or visit http://fsq.moh.gov.my or Facebook BKKM www.facebook.com/bkkmhq.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Agro Based Industry has since restricted the entry of Gala and Granny Smith apples from the United States into Malaysia.