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Bitter Almonds banned following French recall

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
flickr/ David Avoura King/CC BY-ND

The Commerce Ministry’s Camcontrol Department on Friday blocked the import of Bitter Almonds AB Apricot, a product from France, after French authorities found the product containing a substance harmful to the health of consumers and recalled the product from the market.

According an announcement by Camcontrol Friday, French authorities recalled almonds and apricots produced by UBERTI, a French manufacturer, after discovering the product contained more than 500mg of prussic acid per kilogram, exceeding the 20mg limit considered safe for consumption.

Consumption of food products containing excessive prussic acid will affect the thyroid gland and the nervous system, leading to illnesses damaging the nervous system damage such as nerve inflammation and anaemia due to vitamin B12 deficiency.

“To prevent any accidents that may impact healthy, Camcontrol are appealing to the public not to buy the product identified,” the statement said. “Cooperate by providing information to the authorities when you come across the product.”

Camcontrol is responsible for the prevention of imports not meeting safety standards. Camcontrol is also in charge of providing information to importers, retailers and other businesses, as well as inspecting marketplaces.

Earlier this year, Camcontrol banned other French products such as Milumel, Lemiel and Picot baby milk products.

The move was made following International Food Safety Authorities Network findings found that the products were harmful to the health of consumers, especially infants and young children.

French firm Groupe Lactalis, which manufactures the products, said the milk formula could contain Salmonella Agona bacteria.

The department had already taken action to block the import of several other French baby milk products to Cambodia, following recalls issued by authorities at the end of December last year.

The recalls came after 26 young children in France fell ill as a result of the contamination.

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