Gambian authorities have refuted social media reports that there was a rice mixed with plastic that is being sold in local markets.
Rice is a staple food in the West African nation and it imported into the country. At least $38.7 million worth of rice is being imported annually.
A video circulating on social media sites, predominantly Facebook have shown rice in a bag, which “sticks like plastic and bounces” after it was reportedly cooked.
The country’s food safety and quality authorities have said there is no “such product in Gambia.”
Authorities pledged to address the concerns of citizens, who often blame mysterious illnesses to imported food items, which they say are sub-standard.
Preliminary investigations that have been carried out by local authorities concluded there is no “plastic rice” in the tiny nation of fewer than two million people.
Food Safety investigators say different methods of processing rice can cause it to stick.
Unlike rice consumed in the developed world like the U.S., Gambians often spend about half an hour picking out dirt and other unwanted particles out of their rice before cooking it.
It’s former President Yahya Jammeh had attempted to have locally grown rice being the only rice available in the markets, but his food self-sufficiency agenda seeking to ban the importation of rice failed.
(Reporting by Mustapha Darboe; Writing by Sam Phatey; Additional Reporting by Sainey MK Marenah; Editing by Sam Phatey)