By April Montes
Philippine Information Agency
DAGUPAN CITY – The National Food Authority (NFA) assured rice consumers in Pangasinan that there is no fake rice in the province.
Sulpicio George Terrado, economist of NFA-Western Pangasinan, said the alleged “fake rice” reported in Davao City was an isolated case of chemical contamination wherein the rice sample tested positive for dibutyl phthalate (DBP) – a chemical compound used in making flexible plastics.
“The NFA assures the public that they are getting only good quality milled rice from the agency as it strictly enforces quality standards and parameters on the acceptance, storing, packaging and issuance of milled rice,” he said during the Pantongtongan Tayo radio program of PIA-Pangasinan on Tuesday.
As the food agency allayed fears of the public on the presence of fake rice, it also reminded the latter to be more vigilant in buying their rice supply.
Terrado said the NFA released tips on how to avoid contaminated rice.
First, make sure to buy only from NFA-licensed retailers, which are found in designated public market, groceries, supermarkets, and NFA accredited outlets. Licensed stores display the full name of the retailer and their accreditation number.
Second, the NFA imports rice that are long-grained and white.
Third, NFA rice is not too white, too round, uniform in shape and size, nor shiny. If so, the grains are manufactured or machine-made.
Fourth, NFA rice does not smell of plastic. When cooked, consumers should not find a layer of plastic above the rice.
And fifth, avoid rice that weighs less than usual at a given volume. The grains should not be too hard and should break easily.
To facilitate the investigation of suspected fake rice, Terrado called on the public to provide a sample of at least one kilo of uncooked grains aside from information of when, where and from whom it was bought.
“Complaints may also be made through NFA’s Bantay Bigas hotline at 09064363133 or through its social media accounts – Facebook: facebook.com/NFApublicaffairs; Twitter and Instagram: @bigas_nfa,” he said. (VHS/AMM/PIA-1, Pangasinan)